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Novel Error Correction Code Developed at U of Sydney Opens a New Approach to Universal Quantum Computing

By IQT News posted 05 Jun 2020

(SpectrumIEEE) A British scientist working in Australia has found a way to apply a three-dimensional code to a two-dimensional framework for quantum error correcting.
When it comes to correcting errors arising during quantum operations, an error-correction method known as the surface code has drawn a lot of research attention. That’s because of its robustness and the fact that it’s well suited to being set out on a two-dimensional plane
For a quantum computer to tackle complicated tasks, error-correction codes need to be able to perform quantum gate operations; these are small logic operations carried out on qubit information that, when combined, can run algorithms. Classical computing analogues would be AND gates, XOR gates, and the like.
Benjamin Brown, an EQUS researcher at the University of Sydney’s School of Physics. Brown has developed a new type of non-Clifford-gate error-correcting method that removes the need for overhead-heavy distillation. A paper he published on this development appeared in Science Advances on 22 May.
Brown notes that reducing errors in quantum computing is one of the biggest challenges facing scientists before machines capable of solving useful problems can be built. “My approach to suppressing errors could free up a lot of the hardware from error correction and will allow the computer to get on with doing useful stuff.”
“Given it is understood to be impossible to use two-dimensional code like the surface code to do the work of a non-Clifford gate, I have used a three-dimensional code and applied it to the physical two-dimensional surface code scheme using time as the third dimension,” explains Brown. “This has opened up possibilities we didn’t have before.”

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