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Google Demonstrates Vital Step towards Large-scale Quantum Computers


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Googles Sycamore quantum computer.

Julian Kelly at Google AI Quantum and his colleagues have demonstrated error correction on Googles Sycamore quantum computer, with logical qubits ranging in size from five to 21 physical qubits.

Credit: Rocco Ceselin/Google

Google has shown that its Sycamore quantum computer can detect and fix computational errors, an essential step for large-scale quantum computing, but its current system generates more errors than it solves.

Error-correction is a standard feature for ordinary, or classical, computers, which store data using bits with two possible states: 0 and 1. Transmitting data with extra "parity bits" that warn if a 0 has flipped to 1, or vice versa, means such errors can be found and fixed.

In quantum computing the problem is far more complex as each quantum bit, or qubit, exists in a mixed state of 0 and 1, and any attempt to measure them directly destroys the data. One longstanding theoretical solution to this has been to cluster many physical qubits into a single "logical qubit". Although such logical qubits have been created previously, they hadn't been used for error correction until now.

From New Scientist
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