Editorial Feature

What to Know About the New Computer from Quantinuum

This article discusses the recent launch of a quantum computer, H2-1, by Quantinuum, a leading quantum computing company. It also discusses the significance of this breakthrough in quantum computing.

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Quantum computing is a revolutionary field that explores the principles of quantum mechanics to create robust computational systems. Unlike classical computers, which process information using bits that represent either a 0 or a 1, quantum computers use quantum bits or qubits, which can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This inherent ability for superposition and entanglement allows quantum computers to perform complex calculations at an exponential speed, potentially solving problems that are currently intractable for classical machines. Quantum computing holds the promise of transforming industries such as cryptography, optimization, drug discovery, and artificial intelligence, offering groundbreaking solutions to challenges that have long remained unsolvable.

However, one of the key challenges in scaling quantum systems is maintaining performance while adding more qubits.

Overview of Quantinuum

Quantinuum is a leading company in the field of quantum computing, known for its innovative approaches and advancements in trapped-ion architecture. The company is at the forefront of developing and commercializing quantum computing technologies focusing on scalability and performance.

The company's mission is to harness the power of quantum mechanics to revolutionize computation, enabling faster and more efficient solutions to complex problems beyond classical computers’ capabilities.

Quantum Computer, H2-1

With their trapped-ion architecture, industrial and academic research institutions have favored the H-Series quantum computers due to their outstanding qubit quality and gate fidelity. With the introduction of H2-1, Quantinuum has pushed the boundaries further. Quantinuum recently launched a state-of-the-art quantum computer with 32 qubits compared to the H1's 20. It offers increased computational power and opens doors to more complex quantum algorithms and simulations.

This system showcases the power and scalability of trapped-ion architecture, which is renowned for its exceptional qubit quality and gate fidelity. The H2-1 not only expands the qubit capacity to 32 qubits, up from the previous generation's 20 qubits, but it also achieves a groundbreaking Quantum Volume record of 65,536, surpassing any other quantum computer ever built.

One of the most impressive aspects of the H2-1 is that it maintains the high-performance levels and capabilities of its predecessor, the H1. Scaling quantum computers while preserving performance is a significant challenge, but Quantinuum's benchmarking data demonstrates that the H2-1 surpasses the H1 in various performance metrics, including single-qubit gate error, two-qubit gate error, measurement cross-talk, and SPAM.

The engineering advancements in the H2-1 are driven by reduced physical resources required per qubit. Quantinuum's hardware team introduced innovative components to overcome performance limitations of the first-generation H-Series, such as improvements in ion loading, voltage sources, and the delivery of high-precision radio signals for ion manipulation and control. These enhancements are detailed in the research paper "A Race Track Trapped-Ion Quantum Processor," which presents the benchmarking results and highlights the machine's computing capabilities.

Characteristics of H2-1

The trap design of the H2-1 represents a significant upgrade from the previous generation. The success of the H2-1 can be attributed to the engineering advancements made by Quantinuum's hardware team. By reducing the physical resources required per qubit, they have optimized the performance of the quantum charge-coupled device (QCCD) architecture. Innovations in ion loading, voltage sources, and the delivery of high-precision radio signals have eliminated performance limitations, resulting in improved computational speed and control.

The new oval-shaped ion trap allows more efficient space utilization and electrical control signals. Overcoming the engineering challenge of routing signals beneath the top metal layer of the trap, Quantinuum's hardware team utilized radiofrequency (RF) tunnels. These tunnels enable the implementation of inner and outer voltage electrodes, paving the way for truly two-dimensional traps that significantly enhance computational speed. Additionally, the new trap incorporates voltage broadcasting, which optimizes control signals by linking multiple DC electrodes within the trap to a single external signal.

Another essential component of the H2-1 is the magneto-optical trap (MOT), which replaces the effusive atomic oven used in the H1. The MOT reduces startup time by cooling neutral atoms before directing them toward the trap, a crucial feature for larger machines with numerous qubits.

The Published Data of H2-1

Quantinuum demonstrates its commitment to transparency by providing industry-leading results from 15 benchmarking tests. These tests assess component operations, overall system performance, and application performance. The H2-1 excels in system-level benchmark tests such as mirror benchmarking, quantum volume, random circuit sampling, and entanglement certification in Greenberger-Horne-Zeilinger (GHZ) states. Notably, H2-1 sets a new world record in the GHZ test, achieving an entangled state of 32 qubits with a fidelity of 82.0 (7)%.

Conclusion and Future Perspective

In conclusion, Quantinuum's new H2-1 quantum computer represents a significant milestone in quantum computing. Its trapped-ion architecture, scalability, and industry-leading performance metrics set a new standard in the field. This quantum computer has the potential for further upgrades in qubit count and gate zones, surpassing the limits of classical computers.

The successful development of H2-1 demonstrates Quantinuum's unwavering commitment to pushing the boundaries of quantum computing. By surpassing the complexity and qubit capacity of the H1 while maintaining its predecessor's high performance and fidelity, Quantinuum has achieved an astonishing feat in successive generations of quantum systems.

Looking to the future, the H2-1 quantum computer represents a significant step towards advancing beyond classical simulation. While its current operations can be emulated classically, the H2-1's upgrade potential in qubit count and gate zones positions it to outpace classical computers. This capability opens up new avenues for tackling complex computational problems beyond the reach of classical computing systems.

More from AZoQuantum: Looking at Quantum Chaos and Random Matrix Theory

References and Further Reading



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Surbhi Jain

Written by

Surbhi Jain

Surbhi Jain is a freelance Technical writer based in Delhi, India. She holds a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Delhi and has participated in several scientific, cultural, and sports events. Her academic background is in Material Science research with a specialization in the development of optical devices and sensors. She has extensive experience in content writing, editing, experimental data analysis, and project management and has published 7 research papers in Scopus-indexed journals and filed 2 Indian patents based on her research work. She is passionate about reading, writing, research, and technology, and enjoys cooking, acting, gardening, and sports.


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