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IonQ and Duke unveil algorithm-boosting quantum gate innovation

By Dan O'Shea posted 11 Feb 2022

IonQ and the Duke Quantum Center at Duke University have unveiled a quantum gate innovation that could help speed up quantum algorithms like the one IonQ and Hyundai are using on a previously-announced project to advance electric vehicle battery technology.

The innovation could help a variety of projects in areas such as quantum chemistry, quantum finance, quantum machine learning, and more, according to IonQ.

The new quantum gate is a novel way to operate on many connected qubits at once and leverages the multi-qubit communication bus available only on IonQ and Duke quantum computers,” IonQ said in a statement. “The new gate family includes the N-qubit Toffoli gate, which flips a select qubit if and only if all the other qubits are in a particular state. Unlike standard two-qubit quantum computing gates, the N-qubit Toffoli gate acts on many qubits at once, leading to more efficient operations.”

IonQ and Duke said the gate appears naturally in many common quantum algorithms. For the project with Hyundai, IonQ and its partner are using the variational quantum eigensolver algorithm. IonQ is planning to integrate the N-qubit Toffoli gate into its operating system and make it publicly available to users.

 “This discovery marks another milestone for IonQ as we lead the charge to demonstrate operations that can only be run on a quantum computer,” said Dr. Christopher Monroe, Co-Founder and Chief Scientist at IonQ, and the principal investigator at Duke University responsible for the study. “Moreover, no other available quantum computing architectures—not even other ion-based quantum computers—are able to utilize this new family of N-qubit gates. This is because IonQ’s quantum computers uniquely feature full connectivity and a wide communication bus that allows all qubits to talk to each other simultaneously.”

 IonQ has made several announcements of new innovations it is using to scale qubits and make them more efficient to work with, such as the unveiling last December of a plan to use barium ions as qubits in an effort to advance quantum system architecture.

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