Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionize computing, solving problems that would take traditional computers millions of years to complete.
Now Microsoft’s researchers at Delft University of Technology have announced that they have come one step closer to making the elusive computer real by creating Majorana fermions in a tiny wire that is composed of both semiconducting and superconducting materials.
Fermions is an elementary particle that is its own anti-particle and this unique property lets researchers create quantum computers with a much lower error rate than attempts by other companies such as IBM and Google., which could make the devices practical rather than just theoretical.
The next step is turning fermions into qubits, something which Microsoft is still to achieve but which Google and Dwave have already. Microsoft hopes to achieve this by the end of the year and have a working quantum computer available to rent to other companies within 5 years.
The research can be read in full in the current edition of Nature.