• Wed. Nov 22nd, 2023

    Critical Thought

    Critical thoughts on quantum technologies

    New Method Increases Accuracy of Quantum Computers

    BySam Figg

    Nov 18, 2023
    New Method Increases Accuracy of Quantum Computers

    A groundbreaking study conducted by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) has unveiled a revolutionary method to significantly enhance the precision of quantum computers. The researchers claim that their innovative approach has achieved almost 100% accuracy and has the potential to be scaled up in the future.

    Quantum computers possess the capability to solve immensely complex problems that are beyond the reach of conventional supercomputers. This breakthrough has the potential to usher in a new era of limitless possibilities and groundbreaking discoveries for humanity.

    However, the path to fully harnessing the power of quantum computers is not without challenges. Current quantum systems are particularly susceptible to calculation errors, which become more pronounced as computers increase in size. MIT researchers emphasize the need for quantum versions of error correction codes to outpace computational errors, a feat that currently remains unattainable at a viable scale.

    To overcome this obstacle, the MIT team successfully demonstrated a novel architecture for quantum bits, also known as qubits, that exhibit significantly higher accuracy compared to previous iterations. This remarkable accuracy was achieved by utilizing an unconventional type of superconducting qubit called fluxonium, which boasts an extended lifespan when compared to regular superconducting qubits.

    One critical aspect of quantum computing involves performing computations through a series of quantum gates, known as a quantum circuit. These gates manipulate the quantum states of specific qubits to facilitate calculations. Unfortunately, these gates are susceptible to errors.

    To mitigate the errors that occur during these calculations, the researchers incorporated a special coupling element between two fluxonium qubits. This coupling element allows for the performance of quantum operations or gates, while simultaneously suppressing a background interaction that is known to introduce computational errors.

    The study showcased the creation of two-qubit gates with an accuracy exceeding 99.9%, as well as single-qubit gates with 99.99% accuracy. Furthermore, the researchers implemented this novel architecture on a chip with an extendable fabrication process, highlighting its scalability.

    Lead author of the study, Leon Ding, a PhD candidate at MIT, expressed optimism about the future prospects of their research. “We demonstrated a highly promising two-qubit system and outlined its numerous advantages for scalability,” he remarked. “Our next objective is to increase the number of qubits.”

    The exceptional accuracy achieved through this research surpasses the threshold required for reliable error-correcting codes to function effectively. This breakthrough could pave the way for error detection in larger quantum systems and move us closer to the development of fault-free quantum computers.

    As researchers worldwide strive to advance quantum computing technology, earlier this year, quantum computing company Quantiniuum successfully simulated a hydrogen molecule using an error-detecting code. In a separate breakthrough, MIT researchers developed a technique in March 2022 to enhance the resilience of quantum circuits to noise, thereby improving performance and reducing errors in quantum computers.


    What is a qubit?

    A qubit, short for quantum bit, is the fundamental unit of information in quantum computing. Unlike classical bits, which can only represent a 0 or 1, qubits can exist in a superposition of both states simultaneously.

    What are quantum gates?

    Quantum gates are operations performed on qubits that manipulate their quantum states to perform calculations in quantum computers. These gates are analogous to logic gates in classical computing.

    What are error correction codes?

    Error correction codes are techniques used in quantum computing to detect and correct computational errors. These codes are essential for maintaining the accuracy and reliability of quantum computations.

    What is superconductivity?

    Superconductivity refers to the phenomenon where certain materials can conduct electric current without resistance or energy loss. Superconducting qubits utilize this property to maintain quantum coherence and perform quantum operations.

    What is noise in quantum computing?

    Noise in quantum computing refers to external disturbances or unwanted interactions that can cause errors in quantum computations. Minimizing and mitigating noise is crucial for improving the stability and accuracy of quantum systems.