Predicting computational power of quantum computers

Visual depiction of the algorithm used to increase the computational power of early quantum computers. Credit: Winfried Hensinger, University of Sussex

Researchers at the University of Sussex have created an algorithm that speeds up the rate of calculations in the early quantum computers which are currently being developed. They have created a new way to route the ions around the quantum computer to boost the efficiency of the calculations.

They have shown how calculations in such a quantum computer can be done most efficiently, by using their new routing algorithm.

The scientists have created a new algorithm which regulates traffic within the quantum computer just like managing traffic in a busy city. In the trapped ion design the qubits can be physically transported over long distances, so they can easily interact with other qubits. Their new algorithm means that data can flow through the quantum computer without any ‘traffic jams’. 

By deploying their new routing algorithm for their trapped ion architecture, the scientists have discovered that their quantum computing approach can achieve an impressive level of computational power.

They were able to use Quantum Volume to compare their architecture against a model for superconducting qubits, where they assumed similar levels of errors for both approaches. They found that the trapped-ion approach performed consistently better than the superconducting qubit approach, because their routing algorithm essentially allows qubits to directly interact with many more qubits, which in turn gives rise to a higher expected computational power. (

The paper has been published in the journal Advanced Quantum Technologies.

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