Microsoft's Quantum Development Kit gets enhanced debugging, faster simulations

Microsoft QDK

In December, Microsoft took some of the first steps toward giving developers the tools to build applications for future quantum computers with the release of its Quantum Development Kit (QDK). Now, the company is enhancing the kit with faster simulations, enhanced debugging, and more.

For developers who are already toying around with the Q# quantum programming language in Visual Studio, these updates are mostly intended to smooth the experience out. Most importantly, Microsoft has added significant performance improvements to simulations for speedier testing.

On the debugging side of things, you'll find new functions in Visual Studio to check your code accuracy. From Microsoft (via MSPU):

The probability of measuring a "1" on a qubit is now automatically shown in the Visual Studio debugging window, making it easier to check the accuracy of your code. The release also improves the display of variable properties, enhancing the readability of the quantum state.

Two new functions, called DumpMachine and DumpRegister, can show probability information for a target quantum machine at a specified point in time.

True Quantum computing is a ways off, but it's seen as the next big frontier in computing. Its potential, however, is staggering, with the theoretical ability to quickly perform calculations that would take years or even centuries to perform with modern computers. Microsoft's QDK and Q# programming language are the company's attempts to get in on this future early, allowing developers to play around with developing for future quantum machines and simulating their code.

If you're a developer who is curious about getting started with Microsoft's QDK, you can download the free preview now for Windows, macOS, or Linux. And for detailed information on the latest update, you can check out the release notes at Microsoft.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl