Researchers Develop System to Verify that Quantum Chips are Computing Correctly
(MIT.edu) Researchers from MIT, Google, and elsewhere have designed a system that can verify when quantum chips have accurately performed complex computations that classical computers can’t.
In the past few years, researchers have started developing “Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum” (NISQ) chips, which contain around 50 to 100 qubits. That’s just enough to demonstrate “quantum advantage,” meaning the NISQ chip can solve certain algorithms that are intractable for classical computers. Verifying that the chips performed operations as expected, however, can be very inefficient.
The researchers have described a novel protocol to efficiently verify that an NISQ chip has performed all the right quantum operations. They validated their protocol on a notoriously difficult quantum problem running on custom quantum photonic chip.
The researchers’ work essentially traces an output quantum state generated by the quantum circuit back to a known input state. Doing so reveals which circuit operations were performed on the input to produce the output. Those operations should always match what researchers programmed. If not, the researchers can use the information to pinpoint where things went wrong on the chip.