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A New Protocol to Reliably Demonstrate Quantum Computational Advantage

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The new protocols have notable advantages over other existing methods to test quantum advantage.

The researchers performed a proof-of-principle demonstration of these protocols using an ion trap quantum computer.

Credit: Vivian Uhlir, Zhu et al

Quantum computers, devices that perform computations by exploiting quantum mechanical phenomena, have the potential to outperform classical computers on some tasks and optimization problems. In recent years, research teams at both academic institutions and IT companies have been trying to realize this predicted better performance for specific problems, which is broadly known as "quantum advantage."

To reliably demonstrate that a quantum computer performs better than a classical computer, one should, among other things, collect inside the computer and compare them to those collected in . Doing this, however, can sometimes be challenging, due to the distinct nature of these two types of devices.

Researchers at NIST/University of Maryland, UC Berkeley, Caltech and other institutes in the United States recently introduced and tested a new protocol that could help to reliably validate the advantage of quantum computers. This protocol, introduced in Nature Physics, relies on mid-circuit measurements and a cryptographic technique.

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