(PhysOrg.News) A Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) team has developed a completely quantum certification method that uses the computer’s own building blocks. Nicolas Sangouard, SNSF Professor at the University of Basel, explained, “In a few years at most, I expect the computing power of quantum computers to significantly outstrip the computing power of ordinary computers. We call that ‘quantum supremacy'”. Sangouard and his co-workers recently showed how to check that these computers are fit for purpose. The researchers’ approach enables them to certify all the components of a quantum computer – from short- and long-term memory, to information processors, to the converters required to connect the computer to a secure quantum communications network. The protocol offers an additional advantage: it only uses the components already in the computer, thus obviating the need for additional devices. In principle, the protocol will work with any type of quantum computer, whatever the technology behind it.
“The power of quantum computers is what makes them difficult to certify,” says Sangouard. “Even the fastest ordinary computers are too slow to check the calculations made by such devices.”