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Monday, February 26, 2018
Microsoft Quantum Development Kit Updated, Now Supports Linux and Mac

Microsoft has updated its Quantum Development Kit, including support for MacOS and Linux, additional open source libraries, and interoperability with Python.

Microsoft released the Quantum Development Kit last December and delivered a new quantum programming language - Q#, integration with Visual Studio, and extensive libraries and samples.

The first major update to the Quantum Development Kit brings enhancements available globally today, including:

  • Support for Mac- and Linux-based development - Delivering support for building Q# quantum applications on macOS and Linux, including integration with VS Code and quantum simulation support.
  • Full open source license for Microsoft's quantum development libraries and samples. In December, Mcirosoft shared the source code for our libraries to help developers understand how Q# constructs work. Many developers wanted to do more than just learn with that code. Open-sourced the libraries will allow developers to re-use their code in applications and contribute their own enhancements back to the Q# community.
  • Interoperability with the Python programming language. Available as a preview on Windows today, Python interoperability allows Q# code to call Python routines directly, and vice-versa.
  • Faster simulator performance. Microsoft has increased its quantum simulator performance by up to 4-5x, giving you a much faster testing and optimization loop, especially on simulations involving 20 or more qubits.

Microsoft's quantum simulator is intended to aid the development and understanding of quantum programs. It allows the quantum state to be inspected and for the scaling and performance profile of quantum programs to be measured.

Microsoft is also working on a real quantum hardware, built around a concept called a topological qubit. The topological qubit should be much more robust than the qubits used in other quantum computers. However, Microsoft's system will still have to operate at the near-absolute zero temperatures used in other quantum machines.

Microsoft hopes that there will be at least a single working qubit by year end.

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