A team of Microsoft Quantum researchers is said to have achieved a first milestone toward creating a reliable and functional quantum computer. In their paper published in the journal physical review bthe group describes the milestone and their plans to build a reliable quantum computer over the next 25 years.
Physicists and computer engineers are working to build a reliable and useful quantum computer. But error rates have hampered these efforts. In this new effort, the Microsoft team suggests that quantum computer development follow a similar path to that of conventional computers.
Initially, new concepts were followed by a series of hardware upgrades that lead to today’s machines. Likewise, they suggest that while existing methods used to represent logical qubits, such as spin vector or gatemon, have been useful as teaching devices, none have been scalable. They suggest that a new approach must be found that allows for expansion.
They have now reported that they have designed a new way to represent a logical qubit with hardware stability. The device is said to be able to induce a phase of matter characterized by zero Majorana modes – types of fermions. They also reported that such devices showed perturbation low enough to pass the topological gap protocol, proving that the technology is viable. They believe this is a first step towards creating not just a quantum computer, but a quantum supercomputer.
In its announcement, Microsoft also stated that it had created a new metric for measuring quantum supercomputer performance: reliable quantum operations per second (rQOPS), a number that describes the number of reliable operations a computer can perform in one second. They suggest that for a device to qualify as a quantum supercomputer, its rQOPS must be at least a millionth in size. They point out that such machines can reach a billion rQOPS, which makes them really useful.
Morteza Aghi et al., InAs-Al hybrid devices passing the topological gap protocol, physical review b (2023). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.107.245423
Microsoft blog post: cloudblogs.microsoft.com/quantum… antum-supercomputer/
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