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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Microsoft Quantum Computing Exec Sees Progress

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Microsoft engineer and quantum computing researcher Chetan Nayak.

For more than 15 years, researchers at Microsoft have been chasing the idea of building a better quantum computer, an ultrapowerful machine that promises to accelerate everything from drug discovery to the development of electric batteries. Along the way, the company has suffered setbacks as it takes a novel—and risky—approach to developing the technology.

In an interview, though, Chetan Nayak, a distinguished engineer and one of the company's top quantum computing researchers, contends that the company is making technical progress. A breakthrough just before the holidays gave him more faith in its efforts, and he said Microsoft conducted simulations that made him confident the company's approach wasn't a dead end.

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