Error mitigation is perhaps the biggest challenge and barrier to implementing practical quantum computing in the era of noisy intermediate scale quantum (NISQ) computers. Last week, Google reported promising use of so-called “stabilizer code” on its 54-qubit Sycamore quantum processor to suppress errors. The recent work, published in Nature Communications, reduced the number of errors requiring correction 100-fold per round, reported Google researchers.
There’s a good account, written by Charles Q. Choi, posted today on IEEE Spectrum. This excerpt nicely captures the problem nicely: “In addition to building qubits that are physically less prone to mistakes, scientists hope to compensate for high error rates using stabilizer codes. This strategy distributes quantum information across many qubits in such a way that errors can be detected and corrected. A cluster of these “data qubits” can then all count as one single useful ‘logical qubit.’”
It not uncommon to hear researchers speculate that thousands (or more) physical qubits will be needed to create a single error-corrected logical qubit; not surprisingly, finding ways to efficiently suppress errors is an intense research area.
The abstract from Google paper (Exponential suppression of bit or phase errors with cyclic error correction) is a good summary of the work:
“Realizing the potential of quantum computing requires sufficiently low logical error rates. Many applications call for error rates as…