IBM Quantum System One in Ehningen, Germany (4 June 2021) Photo: IBM Research (CC BY 2.0)
A new error suppression technique for quantum computers enables a 2500 percent improvement in quantum algorithm success, according to scientists from quantum startup Q-CTRL. Q-CTRL was founded at the Quantum Control Lab at the University of Sydney in 2017 and focuses on developing hardware-agnostic, error-suppressing enterprise for quantum technology.
As things currently stand, due to error-prone hardware, quantum software developers can only run basic algorithms on quantum computers. This is for today’s applications as researchers seek ways to find useful applications in drug discovery, finance, logistics and more. The errors are apparent in recent algorithmic benchmarking experiments performed by the U.S. Quantum Economic Development Consortium.
With the recent innovation, scientists found that computational errors can be reduced at an unprecedented level by applying software that changes quantum logic gates. These are the building blocks of quantum algorithms and eventual real-world applications. Researchers believe the technique will accelerate the path to useful quantum computing years ahead of current projections.
With this innovation, researchers found that by using specialty software to change the building blocks of quantum algorithms (“quantum logic gates”) it was possible to reduce computational errors at an unprecedented level. The quantum logic gates are the building blocks of quantum circuits.
With this, no changes to the test algorithm or hardware were required based on tests executed on multiple IBM quantum computers. The outcome was that the quantum logic gates were over 400 times more efficient in preventing computational errors than any previously demonstrated techniques.
Essential to this was the error-suppression technology and it paves the way for the eventual realization of the potential that quantum computing will offer. The computational power of quantum computing is expected to deliver transformational capabilities in applications ranging from drug discovery and enterprise logistics to finance.
The breakthrough was presented at the recent Quantum Software CEO Summit, which took place in New York during November 2021.