Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has announced a collaboration with Photonic Inc., a Canadian-based quantum technology company, to “unlock the next stages of quantum networking” for innovation and scientific research.
In a statement, Microsoft says the new partnership will see both entities pool resources toward enabling quantum communications across long distances while improving processes within the quantum ecosystem. Like peas in a pod, Photonic will bring its innovative spin-photon architecture to play, leveraging Microsoft’s Azure scalability properties to reach the partnership’s milestones.
Photonic’s architecture allows for seamless integration with standard telecom wavelengths for quantum communication, and a combination with Microsoft’s Azure will open the possibilities for integrating quantum networking capabilities in key sector operations, including chemistry, metrology, communication, and material science.
“It will take a global ecosystem to unlock the full promise of quantum computing,” said Photonic Founder Stephanie Simmons. “No company or country can do it alone. That’s why we’re incredibly excited to be partnering with Microsoft to bring forth these new quantum capabilities.”
“Their extensive global infrastructure, proven platforms, and the remarkable scale of the Azure cloud make them the ideal partner to unleash the transformative potential of quantum computing and accelerate innovation across the quantum computing ecosystem,” said Simmons.
General Manager of Azure Quantum Dennis Tom disclosed in an official statement that Microsoft and Photonic’s attempts at improving the ecosystem will be done in three processes. The first will involve the physical layer, comprising “entanglements” between devices using photons with telecom fiber.
In the second stage, Tom submits that both firms will use a novel quantum repeater to collect and hold quantum information, with the third stage involving integration with Azure Cloud to “overcome any limitations with on distance.”
The partnership comes after Photonic completed a $100 million raise in a funding round led by British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (BCI), Amadeus Capital Partners, Inovia Capital, the U.K.’s National Strategic Investment Fund, and Microsoft.
Embracing emerging technology
Microsoft’s foray into emerging technologies has seen it dabble with artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain since 2018. The Big Tech firm, an early investor in OpenAI, has seen its investment in the firm balloon to new highs following the rapid adoption of ChatGPT.
The company’s internal research into AI saw it receive $2 billion in investment from professional services firm KPMG as it tries to snag market share from its close competitors. In 2018, Microsoft released a blockchain Development Kit designed to be compatible with several distributed ledgers despite taking a measured approach to play-to-earn (P2E) games.
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