Design of a Superconducting Quantum Computer

Event Date: 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640

Event Contact: 

Speaker:

John Martinis - UCSB

Superconducting quantum computing is now at an important crossroad, where “proof of concept” experiments involving small numbers of qubits can be transitioned to more challenging and systematic approaches that could actually lead to building a quantum computer.  Our optimism is based on two recent developments: a new hardware architecture for error detection based on “surface codes”, and recent improvements in the coherence of superconducting qubits.  I will explain how the surface code is a major advance for quantum computing, as it allows one to use qubits with realistic fidelities, and has a connection architecture that is compatible with integrated circuit technology.  Additionally, the surface code allows quantum error detection to be understood using simple principles.  I will also discuss how the hardware characteristics of superconducting qubits map into this architecture, and review recent results that suggest gate errors can be reduced by about a factor of ten below that needed for the detection threshold.