IARPA in the News

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IBM is a step closer towards creating a practical quantum computer, company scientists announced on Wednesday. A quantum computer computes using superpositions of quantum states – it can solve problems much faster than any conventional computer....

The research at IBM was partly funded by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA), a US research agency under the Director of National Intelligence’s responsibility.

Tech Times

IBM researchers unveiled Wednesday two critical advances in quantum computing, allowing for the first time the detection and measurement of quantum errors simultaneously and demonstrating a new circuit design that can be successfully scaled to bigger dimensions.

Quantum computing is poised to usher in the beginning of a new era in innovation across various industries, as Moore's Law takes a backseat, opening up new opportunities in simulation and optimization not yet tapped into, no thanks to current computing capabilities. If it were possible to build a quantum computer with just 50 quantum bits, even combining TOP500 supercomputers would not be enough to outperform it....

The results of IBM's research was published in the journal Nature Communications. The study received funding support from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity's multi-qubit-coherent-operations program. This work represents IBM's commitment toward processing quantum information, an effort that began in 1981.


Technology giant IBM announced two major breakthroughs towards the building of a practical quantum computer, the next evolution in computing that will be required as Moore’s Law runs out of steam....

The IBM project, which was funded in part by the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) Multi-Qubit Coherent Operations program, opts for a square-shaped design as opposed to a linear array, which IBM said prevents the detection of both kinds of quantum errors simultaneously.

IEEE Spectrum

Quantum computers must overcome the challenge of detecting and correcting quantum errors before they can fulfill their promise of sifting through millions of possible solutions much faster than classical computers.

“With our recent four-qubit network, we built a system that allows us to detect both types of quantum errors,” says Jerry Chow, manager of experimental quantum computing at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center, in Yorktown Heights, N.Y. Chow, who, along with his IBM colleagues detailed their experiments in the 29 April issue of the journal Nature Communications, says, “This is the first demonstration of a system that has the ability to detect both bit-flip errors and phase errors” that exist in quantum computing systems.

PC World

The race to build a universal quantum computer is gaining steam, with IBM claiming a breakthrough that paves the way to large-scale systems that can operate reliably.

IBM researchers have developed error-correction techniques that could maintain the integrity of computations performed using qubits, or quantum bits -- the basis of quantum computing. As with conventional computing, isolating and resolving data errors is a key step to building a fully functional quantum computer, said Jay Gambetta, a manager of IBM's quantum computing and information group....

A paper on the research will appear in the April 29 issue of Nature Communications. The research was partly funded by the U.S. government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. IARPA also funds research to develop a new superconductor semiconductor, which is an important component for quantum computers.


Researchers at IBM have stitched together a prototype circuit that could become the basis of quantum computers a decade hence.

The circuit, an assemblage of four supercooled, superconducting devices known as qubits, checks for the critical errors that make quantum chips so difficult to build. The IBM research is set to be described Wednesday in a paper published in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

Nature Communications

The ability to detect and deal with errors when manipulating quantum systems is a fundamental requirement for fault-tolerant quantum computing. Unlike classical bits that are subject to only digital bit-flip errors, quantum bits are susceptible to a much larger spectrum of errors, for which any complete quantum error-correcting code must account. Whilst classical bit-flip detection can be realized via a linear array of qubits, a general fault-tolerant quantum error-correcting code requires extending into a higher-dimensional lattice. Here we present a quantum error detection protocol on a two-by-two planar lattice of superconducting qubits. The protocol detects an arbitrary quantum error on an encoded two-qubit entangled state via quantum non-demolition parity measurements on another pair of error syndrome qubits. This result represents a building block towards larger lattices amenable to fault-tolerant quantum error correction architectures such as the surface code....

We thank M. B. Rothwell and G. A. Keefe for fabricating devices. We thank J. R. Rozen, J. Rohrs and K. Fung for experimental contributions. We thank S. Bravyi and J. A. Smolin for engaging discussions. We thank I. Siddiqi for providing the JPAs. We acknowledge Caltech for HEMT amplifiers. We acknowledge support from IARPA under contract W911NF-10-1-0324. All statements of fact, opinion or conclusions contained herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as representing the official views or policies of the US Government.