Quantum Computing

Quantum Chemistry Makes Progress Towards Fault Tolerance Regimes Using Logical Qubits


Insider Summary

  • Quantum scientists report that they simulated a hydrogen molecule (H2) by implementing a fault-tolerant algorithm on a quantum processor using logical qubits.
  • The team used the H1 Quantinuum quantum computer.
  • Scientists create and deploy logical qubits achieved with a newly developed error detection code designed for H-series quantum hardware.

PRESS RELEASE — Quantinuum, the world’s largest quantum computing company, has become the first company to simulate chemical molecules by implementing a fault-tolerant algorithm on a quantum processor using logical qubits.

An important step towards using quantum computers to accelerate molecular discoveries, by better modeling chemical systems, reduces time to generate commercial and economic value.

Quantinuum scientists, led from Japan, used three logical qubits on the Quantinuum H1 quantum computer to calculate the ground state energy of the hydrogen molecule (H2) using an algorithm for an initial error-tolerant device called stochastic quantum phase estimation.

It is well known that many of the algorithms that can be used on today’s “NISQ”-era quantum computers will not scale to the larger problem. The phase estimation technique used in this experiment with logical qubits has the potential to scale better but is challenging to implement on today’s quantum computers because it requires very complex circuits, which tend to fail due to noise.

Dr Raj Hazra, CEO of Quantinuum, said: “Today’s announcement redefines the quantum chemistry page on the quantum computer, ushering us into an early era of fault tolerance. This achievement is a testament to the dedication of the hardware and software teams at Quantinuum, who have consistently demonstrated their ability to achieve world-class results. This is possible thanks to the H1 quantum computer which brings together high fidelity gate operations, all-to-all connectivity and conditional logic, with the truly world-leading algorithms, methods and error handling techniques offered by our InQuanto chemistry platform.”

In a scientific preprint paper, “Demonstrating Bayesian Quantum Phase Estimation with Quantum Error Detection”, a team of scientists led by Dr Kentaro Yamamoto reports that they have overcome this challenge by creating and deploying logical qubits achieved with a newly developed error detection code designed to H-series quantum hardware. The code saves quantum resources by immediately discarding computations if it detects qubits that generate errors during the computation process.

When combined with the low noise of the H-Series hardware and the capabilities of the Quantinuum InQuanto™ Software, researchers were able to run these complex circuits for the first time, producing simulation results that were more accurate than those achieved without the error detection code. Creating and using logical qubits with error detection is a prerequisite for more sophisticated error correction, which provides real-time protection for quantum computers against various forms of “noise”.

Dr. Kentaro Yamamoto, Senior Researcher at Quantinuum, said: “Simulating molecular hydrogen and getting such good results with initial fault-tolerant algorithms on logical qubits is an excellent experimental result and reminds us how fast we are moving forward. These results may represent the start of a new chapter for quantum computing professionals, in which we can start adopting fault-tolerant algorithms early on short-term devices, using all the techniques that will eventually be required for large-scale quantum computing in the future.”

For scientific researchers and industrial companies in sectors such as health, energy, automotive and manufacturing, which are investing heavily in researching the molecules and materials of the future, this demonstration means that the time for useful quantum computing is steadily approaching.

This demonstration, run on a Quantinuum System Model H1 quantum computer, Powered by Honeywell, will be integrated into a future version of its industry-leading quantum computational chemistry platform, InQuanto, enabling industrial companies and academic researchers to explore using fault-tolerant early-run algorithms. on quantum computers for material and molecular modeling.

* For more information on error detection codes, see “Protecting Expressive Circuits with Quantum Fault Detection Codes”


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