Quantum Supremacy: Checking a Quantum Computer with a Classical Supercomputer
John Martinis, PhD
Research Scientist, Google
As microelectronics technology nears the end of exponential growth over time, known as Moore’s law, there is a renewed interest in new computing paradigms such as quantum computing. A key step in the roadmap to build a scientifically or commercially useful quantum computer will be to demonstrate its exponentially growing computing power. I will explain how a 7 by 7 array of superconducting xmon qubits with nearest-neighbor coupling, and with programmable single- and two-qubit gate with errors of about 0.2%, can execute a modest depth quantum computation that fully entangles the 49 qubits. Sampling of the resulting output can be checked against a classical simulation to demonstrate proper operation of the quantum computer and compare its system error rate with predictions. With a computation space of 2^49 = 5 x 10^14 states, the quantum computation can only be checked using the biggest supercomputers. I will show experimental data towards this demonstration from a 9 qubit adjustable-coupler “gmon” device, which implements the basic sampling algorithm of quantum supremacy for a computational (Hilbert) space of about 500. We have begun testing of the quantum supremacy chip.