Maryland’s IONQ Quantum Computer Outperforms Classical Systems. Having announced the simulation of water molecules via its trapped ion quantum computing system this past December, IONQ revealed on March 24th the capability of their system yet again. This time, they are releasing results showing performance in solving complex equations of 78% and 35% wherein classical systems only solve the same equations correctly 0.1% of the time.
“Schematic of the hardware. A linear chain of ions
is trapped near a surface electrode trap (trap is not shown).
Lasers at 369 nm and 935 nm (not shown) illuminate all of the
ions during cooling, initialization, and detection. Each ion’s
uorescence is imaged through a 0.6 numeric aperture lens
(\detection optics”) and directed onto individual photomultiplier
tube channels. Two linearly-polarized counterpropagating
355 nm Raman beams are aligned to each qubit-ion,
a globally addressing beam that couples to all of the qubits
(red) and an individual addressing beam that is focused onto
each ion (blue). Acousto-optic modulators (AOMs) modulate
the frequency and amplitude of each of these beams to generate
single-qubit rotations and XX-gates between arbitrary
pairs of qubit ions.” (Image Credit: IONQ)
From reporting by Inside HPC, “In its test of the Bernstein-Vazirani algorithm, IonQ’s computer tried to solve each of the 1024 variations 500 times. In total, it identified the correct answer in a single attempt 78% of the time. For the more difficult Hidden Shift algorithm, the IonQ machine found the correct answer in a single attempt in 35% of its trials. The lower accuracy is to be expected because the Hidden Shift algorithm requires between 35 and 50 quantum logic gates, including 10 more error-prone two-qubit gates. By comparison, conventional computers only get the correct answer to the Bernstein-Vazirani and Hidden Shift problems 0.1% of the time in a single attempt.”
IONQ’s Chief Strategy Officer touts their qubits, or quantum bits used to perform the calculations, are “perfect.” Further, he states “Our qubits are also wired in software, allowing reconfigurable connections that can efficiently map onto any future problem.” This is certainly boastful but may very well pan out to be the first truly performing quantum computer to date. Well worth following, because quantum is coming. Qubit.