Research paves the way for fault-tolerant quantum computing
Quantinuum has announced a significant step towards fault tolerant quantum computing. The official launch of Quantinuum’s H2 quantum processor, Powered by Honeywell, follows extensive pre-launch work with a variety of global partners and was essential to the controlled creation and manipulation of non-Abelian anyons. The precise control of non-Abelian anyons has been long held as the path to using topological qubits for a fault tolerant quantum computer.
Tony Uttley, President and COO of Quantinuum, stated “With our second-generation system, we are entering a new phase of quantum computing. H2 highlights the opportunity to achieve valuable outcomes that are only possible with a quantum computer. The development of the H2 processor is also a critical step in moving towards universal fault tolerant quantum computing.”
He added “This demonstration is a beautiful proof point in the power of our H-Series hardware roadmap and reinforces our primary purpose which is to enable our customers to tackle problems that were previously beyond the reach of classical computers. The implications for society are significant and we are excited to see how this technology truly changes the world."
One of the first experiments conducted on H2 by scientists from Quantinuum, in collaboration with researchers from Harvard University and Caltech, demonstrated a new state of matter, a non-Abelian topologically ordered state. This is an area of expertise that has been pursued in “stealth mode” for some years within Quantinuum, with the core team based in Munich and led by Dr Henrik Dreyer.
Due to the differentiating features and precision control of the H2 processor, the topological state (that is essentially a qubit with limited gate capacity) was created in a way where its properties could be precisely controlled in real-time, demonstrating the creation, braiding and annihilation (measurement) of non-Abelian anyons.
The results, which were published today in a pre-print of a detailed scientific paper that has been made available on arXiv, details Quantinuum’s work. This work opens up exciting new fields of research within condensed matter physics, which would have been impossible using a classical computer alone. Together with other QEC codes (found here and here), we have demonstrated, this achievement shows that it is only a matter of time until the Quantinuum hardware demonstrates the best path to fault tolerance.
“Fault tolerant quantum computing is our ultimate aim. Our world leadership in quantum computing continues to be showcased and proven by real advances, and the creation and manipulation of non-Abelian anyons to create topological qubits is another example that when incredible tools are given to brilliant people, they will find something amazing to do with them,” said Ilyas Khan, Founder and Chief Product Officer at Quantinuum. “This could well be a transistor moment for the quantum computing industry – and the fact that we have used a quantum computer as the machine tool for building topological qubits that are a significant step towards fault tolerant quantum computing is further testimony to our long-held belief that quantum systems are best explored and created by other quantum systems. This is precisely what Feynman anticipated in his now famous remarks that are so often quoted as foundations for quantum computing.”
He added, “We are looking forward to building on this critical breakthrough. These are exciting times ahead for the whole industry and we have some further milestones that we can’t wait to share with the world.”
Innovations in H2
The H2 features initially include 32 fully-connected, high-fidelity qubits and an all-new architecture that advances the System Model H1’s linear design (with a new ion trap whose oval shape resembles a “racetrack”). Quantinuum showcased the H2’s capability by demonstrating a 32-qubit GHZ state (a non-classical state with all 32 qubits globally entangled), the largest on record.
The unique “racetrack” design of the System Model H2 enables all-to-all connectivity between qubits, meaning that every qubit in the H2 can directly be pairwise entangled with any other qubit in the system. Near-term doing so reduces the overall errors in algorithms, and long term opens up additional opportunities for new, more efficient error correcting codes – both critical for continuing to accelerate the capabilities of quantum computing. When combined with the demonstration of controlled non-Abelian anyons, the integrated achievement highlights an important step in topological quantum information storage and processing.
Additionally, the new design is a powerful step towards showing the scaling potential of ion-trap devices. Not only is H2 a demonstration of the scaling power of ion traps in the quantum charge coupled device (QCCD) architecture: showing the ability to simultaneously scale qubit number while maintaining performance, it also contains new technologies that pave the way for further scaling in subsequent generations. Similar to the first-generation systems, H2 is designed to accommodate future upgrades over its product lifecycle, meaning that qubit number and qubit quality will both be improved upon.
Built on the proven foundations of Quantinuum’s H-Series, the System Model H2, includes numerous hallmark features that collectively set it apart from other types of quantum computers: all-to-all connectivity, qubit reuse, mid-circuit measurement with conditional logic, industry leading high-fidelity qubit operations, and long coherence times. Additionally, the impressive performance gains of the System Model H1 to achieve repeatedly increasing Quantum Volume (QV) records is expected to continue with H2. H2 launches with a Quantum Volume 65,536 surpassing the last record announced using H1-1 in February of this year.
Using the H2 Today
Besides the headline breakthrough, the H2 has already been active in experimental studies by a range of organisations and companies, with notable results:
Global Technology Applied Research at JPMorgan Chase has published a scholarly paper on the quantum optimisation algorithm design for portfolio optimisation, with numerical results successfully validated on H2 during early access. Quantinuum’s machine learning team demonstrated a new heuristic optimisation routine that can solve optimisation problems with minimal quantum resources.
These recent studies are available in individual technical papers here. A separate published paper describing the H2 features, benchmarking, and comparisons to other hardware, along with details on world record entanglement, can be found here. All technical papers will be submitted to the scientific peer review process.
The H2 is available now through cloud-based access from Quantinuum and will be available through Microsoft Azure Quantum beginning in June. Additionally, a noise-informed emulator of H2 is made possible through NVIDIA’s cuQuantum SDK of optimised libraries and tools, which help accelerate quantum computing simulation workflows.
Dr. Rajeeb (Raj) Hazra, CEO of Quantinuum said, “For anyone who thought that quantum computers that are able to push forward the boundaries of human knowledge and scientific progress are still in the far distance, today marks a turning point. A world leading team of scientists have used Quantinuum’s H2 quantum computer to achieve something that was previously not possible.” He went on to comment, “The H2 provides a breakaway moment for Quantinuum. Our second-generation quantum computer powered by the H2 quantum processor and associated software, delivers the industry's best performance today, while laying the groundwork for significantly accelerating the path for fault-tolerant quantum computing.”