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Cosmic Rays Are Quantum Computers' Kryptonite

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The quantum effects that quantum computers depend on are extraordinarily vulnerable to disruption from their surroundings, leading present-day state-of-the-art quantum computers to suffer roughly one error every 1,000 operations.

Credit: Mehau Kulyk/Science Source

University of Chicago researchers have developed a method to reduce the rate of catastrophic quantum computing errors attributable to cosmic rays from about once every 10 seconds to once every 51 days.

The strategy involves dividing quantum computers into multiple data chips, each containing multiple superconducting qubits.

To monitor their performance, the data chips are linked to an "ancilla chip" that contains additional superconducting qubits. The data chips use conventional quantum error correction codes to handle regular errors, with an additional quantum error correction code to provide protection from cosmic rays.

Following a cosmic ray event, the ancilla chip and the data chips not disrupted by the strike collaborate to correct affected data chips and restore the quantum computer's data.

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2022 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


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