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Classiq to school academia in quantum computing with help from Microsoft

No experience? Doesn't matter, companies claim

Microsoft has partnered with quantum outfit Classiq for the launch of a research and education program that offers educational institutions access to Classiq's software platform and Microsoft's Azure Quantum cloud.

According to the Redmond giant, Tel Aviv-based Classiq has selected Azure Quantum to be the launch partner for its global academic program as Microsoft provides access to a diverse selection of quantum hardware via its cloud.

Classiq focuses on quantum algorithms rather than quantum hardware, instead providing a software platform designed to help developers with the process of converting high-level functional models into optimized quantum circuits.

Co-founder and CEO Nir Minerbi said that the partnership combines Classiq's software design platform with Azure Quantum's portfolio of NISQ hardware, where NISQ is an acronym for noisy intermediate-scale quantum, a label for the current generation of systems that lack fault tolerance.

"The pairing enables quantum researchers and educators to focus on application development uninhibited by low-level code. This program reflects Classiq and Azure Quantum's deep and shared commitment to invest in global workforce development," he said in a statement.

According to Microsoft, the Classiq for academia program supports development-focused teams, with minimal quantum software programming experience required. It said that the Classiq platform makes it easier to upskill domain experts that may have little prior quantum experience and integrate them into quantum teams.

Classiq's synthesis engine is also claimed to allow researchers to explore larger complex quantum circuits than would otherwise be possible. The circuits are generated in QIR code (an intermediate representation for quantum programs, developed by Microsoft, naturally), which is then handed to Azure Quantum's resource estimation service.

The latter can provide practitioners and students with insights on how to best design quantum applications, Microsoft said, in readiness for when fault-tolerant systems become available.

Microsoft and Classiq also scored an endorsement for the program from a distinguished academic, Dr Robert Wille of the Technical University of Munich.

"Designing quantum software at the functional level and executing it on multiple QPUs will advance both quantum research and education," Wille said. "The collaboration between Classiq and Microsoft aims at exactly that and will pave the way towards a quantum computing ecosystem capable of solving some of the future's most important challenges."

Effectively still a startup, Classiq received $33 million in a Series B funding round last year from investors including HPE and Samsung.

The company also said last October that it was working with Rolls-Royce on the development of quantum algorithms that can speed computational fluid dynamics calculations involved in simulations for engineering work. ®

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