Within the next three months, Honeywell will bring to market the world’s most powerful quantum computer in terms of quantum volume, a measure of quantum capability that goes beyond the number of qubits. Quantum volume measures computational ability, indicating the relative complexity of a problem that can be solved by a quantum computer. Honeywell’s quantum computer will have a quantum volume of at least 64. This is twice as much as the best current system.
Honeywell has demonstrated its quantum charge coupled device (QCCD) architecture, a major technical breakthrough in accelerating quantum capability. The company also announced it is on a trajectory to increase its computer’s quantum volume by an order of magnitude each year for the next five years.
This means they will have a trapped ion quantum computer with a quantum volume of 6.4 million in 2025. This would be a better path for quantum computers capability than what IBM had forecast. IBM had expected a quantum volume of 1000 in 2025 and about 100,000 in 2030. If Honeywell can deliver then this would mean vastly more capable systems by 2022 than what IBM expected by 2026.
IBM’s old forecast for quantum computer power to 2030
Quantum Volume is a single-number metric that can be measured using a concrete protocol on near-term quantum computers of modest size. The QV method quantifies the largest random circuit of equal width and depth that the computer successfully implements. Quantum computing systems with high-fidelity operations, high connectivity, large calibrated gate sets, and circuit rewriting toolchains are expected to have higher quantum volumes.
This breakthrough in quantum volume results from Honeywell’s solution having the highest-quality, fully-connected qubits with the lowest error rates.
To accelerate the development of quantum computing and explore practical applications for its customers, Honeywell Ventures, the strategic venture capital arm of Honeywell, has made investments in two leading quantum software and algorithm providers Cambridge Quantum Computing (CQC) and Zapata Computing. Both Zapata and CQC complement Honeywell’s own quantum computing capabilities by bringing a wealth of cross-vertical market algorithm and software expertise. CQC has strong expertise in quantum software, specifically a quantum development platform and enterprise applications in the areas of chemistry, machine learning and augmented cybersecurity. Zapata creates enterprise-grade, quantum-enabled software for a variety of industries and use cases, allowing users to build quantum workflows and execute them freely across a range of quantum and classical devices.
Honeywell also announced that it will collaborate with JPMorgan Chase, a global financial services firm, to develop quantum algorithms using Honeywell’s computer.
Honeywell’s quantum computer uses trapped-ion technology, which leverages numerous, individual, charged atoms (ions) to hold quantum information. Honeywell’s system applies electromagnetic fields to hold (trap) each ion so it can be manipulated and encoded using laser pulses.
Honeywell’s trapped-ion qubits can be uniformly generated with errors more well understood compared with alternative qubit technologies that do not directly use atoms. These high-performance operations require deep experience across multiple disciplines, including atomic physics, optics, cryogenics, lasers, magnetics, ultra-high vacuum, and precision control systems. Honeywell has a decades-long legacy of expertise in these technologies.
Today, Honeywell has a cross-disciplinary team of more than 100 scientists, engineers, and software developers dedicated to advancing quantum volume and addressing real enterprise problems across industries.
Demonstration of the QCCD trapped-ion quantum computer architecture – paper
We report on the integration of all
necessary ingredients of the trapped-ion QCCD (quantum charge-coupled device) architecture into a robust, fully-connected, and programmable trapped-ion quantum computer. The system employs 171Yb+ ions for qubits and 138Ba+ ions for sympathetic cooling and is built around a Honeywell cryogenic surface trap capable of arbitrary ion rearrangement and parallel gate operations across multiple zones. As a minimal demonstration, we use two spatially-separated interaction zones in parallel to execute arbitrary four-qubit quantum circuits.
The architecture is benchmarked at both the component level and at the holistic level through a variety of means. Individual components including state preparation and measurement, single-qubit gates, and two-qubit gates are characterized with randomized benchmarking. Holistic tests include parallelized randomized benchmarking showing that the cross-talk between different gate regions is negligible, a teleported CNOT gate utilizing mid-circuit measurement, and a quantum volume measurement of 2 4.
The device is built around a microfabricated cryogenic surface trap containing five zones used for gating operations and ten storage zones. Using 171Yb+ and 138Ba+
as the qubit and coolant ions, respectively, they demonstrate parallel operation and communication between two adjacent gate zones separated by 750µm. Loading the trap with four ions of each species, they show that high fidelity gate operations can be performed in parallel on two four-ion mixed-species crystals.
These results suggest a path forward in which the primary near-term obstacles to scalability are technical in nature and generally less severe than those already overcome in the work presented here. They are currently pursuing a scaling of the optical delivery to encompass all 5 gates zones, and even without further improvements to gate fidelities they expect to increase the accessible quantum volume. Finally, while they recognize the challenges ahead, they believe the successful integration of QCCD primitives demonstrated in this manuscript paves the way toward nearterm intermediate-scale devices with fidelities approaching state-of-the-art demonstrations in small ion crystals.
SOURCES- Honeywell, IBM
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
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