In the future, quantum computers may be able to solve problems that are far too complex for today’s most powerful supercomputers. To realize this promise, quantum versions of error correction codes must be able to account for computational errors faster than they occur.

However, today’s quantum computers are not yet robust enough to realize such error correction at commercially relevant scales.

On the way to overcoming this roadblock, MIT scientists demonstrated a novel superconducting qubit architecture that can perform operations between qubits — the building blocks of a quantum computer — with much greater accuracy than scientists have previously been able to achieve.

They utilize a relatively new type of superconducting qubit, known as fluxonium, which can have a lifespan that is much longer than more commonly used superconducting qubits.

Their architecture involves a special coupling element between two fluxonium qubits that enables them to perform logical operations, known as gates, in a highly accurate manner. It suppresses a type of unwanted background interaction that can introduce errors into quantum operations.

This approach enabled two-qubit gates that exceeded 99.9 percent accuracy and single-qubit gates with 99.99 percent accuracy. In addition, the researchers implemented this architecture on a chip using an extensible fabrication process.  

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