November 2019: AQT researchers together with colleagues from the University of Innsbruck and the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC), Waterloo, Canada have demonstrated a new method to benchmark different quantum computer platforms.
Quantum computers offer a fundamentally more powerful way of computing, thanks to quantum mechanics. Compared to a traditional or digital computer, quantum computers can solve certain types of problems more efficiently. However, qubits—the basic processing unit in a quantum computer—are fragile; any imperfection or source of noise in the system can cause errors that lead to incorrect solutions under a quantum computation. Gaining control over a small-scale quantum computer with just one or two qubits is the first step in a larger, more ambitious endeavour. A larger quantum computer may be able to perform increasingly complex tasks, like machine learning or simulating complex systems to discover new pharmaceutical drugs. Engineering a larger quantum computer is challenging; the spectrum of error pathways becomes more complicated as qubits are added and the quantum system scales.