PALO ALTO, Calif., December 2, 2022 — PsiQuantum has announced a breakthrough technique for implementing fault-tolerant quantum computations more efficiently. The company expects this technique to provide about a 50x improvement in runtime efficiency for compiled applications.
This technique specifically targets algorithms for error-correcting quantum computers, as opposed to non-error-correcting NISQ systems. ‘Active Volume Compilation’ reduces the execution time of a given application, through more efficient use of the available hardware. This is achieved by using long range connections between different regions of the quantum computer. This technique particularly favors photonic quantum computing, where long-range connections can be made using conventional fiber optics.
Developments in PsiQuantum allow compute resources that would otherwise be idle (“idle compute volume”) to be reallocated more usefully. In many commercially useful applications using quantum algorithms, this has significant implications for runtime and hardware efficiency. It is estimated that active volume optimization can provide about a 50x improvement in operations required for some algorithms. Pete Shadbolt, chief science officer and co-founder of PsiQuantum, said, “This is a very significant achievement from our Fault Tolerance team. A 50X improvement means that a quantum application that previously would have taken a month to run on a future photonic quantum computer, would now run in less than a day.
The improvements made are generalizable to many different quantum algorithms of practical importance. This brings a greater diversity of useful quantum applications into the range of future quantum computing technology.
A specific worked example occurs in code breaking situations such as those involving the application of Shor’s algorithm. According to the assumptions given in the PsiQuantum preprint paper, it is estimated that using this technique, the time required to crack the very strong (2048-bit) RSA encryption key is reduced to around nine hours on a future photonic quantum computer. operating with a 1ns duty cycle. As the company continues to develop the large-scale fault-tolerant quantum computer required to run this application, this result significantly reduces the demands on this future system.
The approach has additional implications for the optimal use of quantum computing more broadly. As Naomi Nickerson, Vice President of Quantum Architecture at PsiQuantum, has described, “This development also has implications given the ability of photonic quantum computers to exploit trade-offs between computing resources and computational runtime. The active volume technique reduces the computation time required and this can result in reduced hardware resources using techniques such as photonic interleaving This is also likely to be of practical importance in allowing programs to run at the same time using less material.
“While the benefits of this approach can be realized with any technology capable of connecting distant qubits, it presents a challenge to many current approaches, and active volume architectures are particularly suited to photonic qubits connected to the using fiber optics.
“We believe this result will be important in the ongoing, worldwide effort to analyze known quantum algorithms against specific problem cases, finding optimal ways to compile them. These implementation details are crucial when it’s about providing commercially useful applications.
“This enhancement is another step in integrating useful quantum applications as part of near-future hardware and is extremely exciting. We have a talented team of quantum architects and quantum engineers dedicated to optimizing software for utility-scale quantum computers. We expect resource requirements to continue to decline alongside our hardware improvements,” noted Jeremy O’Brien, CEO and co-founder of PsiQuantum.
Powered by breakthroughs in silicon photonics and fault-tolerant quantum architecture, PsiQuantum is building the first utility-scale quantum computer to solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. PsiQuantum’s approach is based on photonic qubits, which have significant advantages at the scale required to provide a versatile fault-tolerant quantum computer. With quantum chips now being manufactured in a leading semiconductor factory, PsiQuantum is uniquely positioned to deliver quantum capabilities that will drive advances in climate technologies, pharmaceuticals, healthcare, finance, energy, agriculture, transport, communications and beyond. To learn more, visit www.psiquantum.com.
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