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AWS’ Oskar Painter offers more details on new error correction chip

By Dan O'Shea posted 26 Dec 2023

After Amazon Web Services last month unveiled a research prototype version of a quantum error correction chip, Oskar Painter, director of quantum hardware at AWS, commented to IQT News about what makes AWS’ approach distinct.

The chip was announced during the Amazon re:Invent conference at the end of November, and will be an integral part of the superconducting quantum computer that AWS is building at its AWS Center for Quantum Computing (CQC) at the California Institute of Technology. Since AWS’ announcement, a number of quantum computing firms, from IBM to QuEra, have highlighted their error correction efforts and plans, and it seems to be an area in which companies are now staking out some competitive space.

“AWS is relentlessly focused on our customers, and we believe that focusing on error correction is the best approach for making quantum computers useful for customers long term,” Painter told IQT. “The logical qubit we have developed is both hardware-efficient and scalable.”

He explained more details about the new chip, stating, “It uses a special oscillator-based qubit that strongly suppresses bit flip errors, and requires a much simpler outer error-correcting code to protect the remaining phase flip errors. The estimated savings in overhead associated with quantum error correction is up to 6x for practical systems.”

Painter added, “It is based on a superconducting quantum circuit technology that ‘prints’ qubits on the surface of a silicon microchip, making it highly scalable in the number of physical qubits. This scalability allows one to exponentially suppress the total logical error rate by adding more physical qubits to the chip. Other approaches based on similar oscillator-based qubits rely on large 3D resonant cavities that need to be manually pieced together.”

AWS has suggested it will have more news to come on its quantum computing progress during 2024.

A superconducting-qubit quantum chip being wire-bonded to a circuit board at the AWS Center for Quantum Computing in Pasadena, Calif. Credit: AWS

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

Categories: quantum computing, semiconductors

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Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.Quantum News Briefs looks at news in the quantum industry.