Big Blue boffins claim quantum computing measurement leap

Seeing AND assessing more than one error at a time? Hold my coat, IBM got this

+Vid IBM has claimed major breakthroughs in quantum computing after boffins in Big Blue's lab demonstrated the ability to simultaneously detect and measure bit-flip and phase-flip quantum errors for the first time.

Additionally, they revealed a new, square quantum bit circuit design that, the researchers believe, is "the only physical architecture that could successfully scale to larger dimensions."

IBM published its findings in the Nature Communications journal on Wednesday.

"While quantum computers have traditionally been explored for cryptography, one area we find very compelling is the potential for practical quantum systems to solve problems in physics and quantum chemistry that are unsolvable today," said IBM research veep Arvind Krishna.

"This could have enormous potential in materials or drug design, opening up a new realm of applications."

Before now, quantum computing nerds were only able to zero in on one type of quantum error at a time. IBM's square lattice structure, which is made up of four superconducting qubits on a one-quarter-inch square chip, apparently allows researchers to detect bit-flip and phase-flip quantum errors simultaneously.

Golden Age of Quantum Computing Research – official IBM video

"Previous work in this area, using linear arrangements, only looked at bit-flip errors offering incomplete information on the quantum state of a system and making them inadequate for a quantum computer,” said Big Blue quantum computing boss Jay Gambetta.

“Our four qubit results take us past this hurdle by detecting both types of quantum errors and can be scalable to larger systems, as the qubits are arranged in a square lattice as opposed to a linear array.” ®

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