December 6, 2023

New Performance Benchmark: Measuring a Quantum Computer’s Power Just Got Faster and More Accurate

What does a quantum computer have in typical with a leading draft pick in sports? Quantum computer systems, speculative makers that can perform some jobs faster than supercomputers, are continuously evaluated, much like young athletes, for their prospective to one day become game-changing innovation.

Researchers at Sandia National Labs invent new yardstick for benchmarking performance.
What does a quantum computer system share with a top draft pick in sports? Both have actually brought in lots of attention from talent scouts. Quantum computers, experimental makers that can perform some jobs quicker than supercomputers, are continuously examined, just like young professional athletes, for their possible to one day become game-changing technology.

Now, scientist-scouts have their very first tool to rank a prospective innovations capability to run reasonable jobs, exposing its true potential and constraints.
A new kind of benchmark test, developed at Sandia National Laboratories, anticipates how likely it is that a quantum processor will run a specific program without errors.
The so-called mirror-circuit approach, released today (December 20, 2021) in Nature Physics, is quicker and more accurate than standard tests, helping researchers develop the technologies that are most likely to result in the worlds very first practical quantum computer system, which might considerably accelerate research study for medication, chemistry, physics, agriculture, and nationwide security.
Previously, scientists have been determining efficiency on barrier courses of random operations.
Sandia National Laboratories has actually designed a quicker, more precise style of test for quantum computers, such as the one envisioned here. Credit: Bret Latter, Sandia National Laboratories
But according to the brand-new research, traditional benchmark tests undervalue lots of quantum computing errors. This can result in unrealistic expectations of how powerful or useful a quantum maker is. Mirror-circuits offer a more accurate screening technique, according to the paper.
A mirror circuit is a computer regimen that performs a set of computations and after that reverses it.
Sandia National Laboratories computer researcher Tim Proctor is the very first author on the Nature Physics paper explaining a brand-new method to benchmark quantum computers. Credit: Tim Proctor, Sandia National Laboratories
” It is basic practice in the quantum computing community to utilize just random, disordered programs to determine performance, and our results show that this is not an advantage to do,” stated computer researcher Timothy Proctor, a member of Sandias Quantum Performance Laboratory who participated in the research study.
The brand-new testing technique also saves time, which will assist scientists assess increasingly sophisticated devices. A lot of criteria tests look for mistakes by running the exact same set of guidelines on a quantum device and a conventional computer system. The outcomes need to match if there are no mistakes.
However, due to the fact that quantum computer systems perform specific computations much faster than standard computer systems, researchers can spend a very long time waiting for the routine computers to complete.
With a mirror circuit, nevertheless, the output needs to always be the very same as the input or some intentional adjustment. So rather of waiting, scientists can right away examine the quantum computers outcome.
The research study was funded by the Department of Energys Office of Science and Sandias Laboratory Directed Research and Development program. Sandia is a leading member of the Quantum Systems Accelerator, a Department of Energy nationwide quantum research.
New method exposes flaws in traditional efficiency rankings
Proctor and his coworkers discovered that randomized tests miss out on or underestimate the compound impacts of errors. When a mistake is intensified it grows worse as the program runs, like a large receiver who runs the wrong route, straying farther and further from where they are supposed to be as the play goes on.
By mimicking functional programs, Sandia discovered last results often had bigger discrepancies than randomized tests showed.
” Our benchmarking experiments exposed that the efficiency of current quantum computers is a lot more variable on structured programs” than was formerly known, Proctor said.
The mirror-circuit method also offers scientists higher insight into how to enhance current quantum computer systems.
” By applying our approach to existing quantum computer systems, we were able to find out a lot about the errors that these specific gadgets suffer– because different kinds of mistakes impact various programs a different quantity,” Proctor stated. “This is the very first time these impacts have actually been observed in many-qubit processors. Our approach is the first tool for probing these error impacts at scale.”
Recommendation: “Measuring the abilities of quantum computer systems” 20 December 2021, Nature Physics.DOI: 10.1038/ s41567-021-01409-7.

According to the brand-new research study, standard tests undervalue many quantum computing mistakes. The majority of benchmark tests examine for mistakes by running the exact same set of guidelines on a quantum device and a conventional computer.” By using our technique to current quantum computer systems, we were able to learn a lot about the mistakes that these specific devices suffer– due to the fact that different types of mistakes affect different programs a different amount,” Proctor stated.