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  1. Variational Quantum Algorithms (VQA) are one of the most promising candidates for near-term quantum advantage. Traditionally, these algorithms are parameterized by rotational gate angles whose values are tuned over iterative execution on quantum machines. The iterative tuning of these gate angle parameters make VQAs more robust to a quantum machine’s noise profile. However, the effect of noise is still a significant detriment to VQA’s target estimations on real quantum machines — they are far from ideal. Thus, it is imperative to employ effective error mitigation strategies to improve the fidelity of these quantum algorithms on near-term machines.While existing error mitigation techniques built from theory do provide substantial gains, the disconnect between theory and real machine execution characteristics limit the scope of these improvements. Thus, it is critical to optimize mitigation techniques to explicitly suit the target application as well as the noise characteristics of the target machine.We propose VAQEM, which dynamically tailors existing error mitigation techniques to the actual, dynamic noisy execution characteristics of VQAs on a target quantum machine. We do so by tuning specific features of these mitigation techniques similar to the traditional rotation angle parameters -by targeting improvements towards a specific objective function which represents the VQAmore »problem at hand. In this paper, we target two types of error mitigation techniques which are suited to idle times in quantum circuits: single qubit gate scheduling and the insertion of dynamical decoupling sequences. We gain substantial improvements to VQA objective measurements — a mean of over 3x across a variety of VQA applications, run on IBM Quantum machines.More importantly, while we study two specific error mitigation techniques, the proposed variational approach is general and can be extended to many other error mitigation techniques whose specific configurations are hard to select a priori. Integrating more mitigation techniques into the VAQEM framework in the future can lead to further formidable gains, potentially realizing practically useful VQA benefits on today’s noisy quantum machines.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 22, 2023
  3. Quantum computers are traditionally operated by programmers at the granularity of a gate-based instruction set. However, the actual device-level control of a quantum computer is performed via analog pulses. We introduce a compiler that exploits direct control at this microarchitectural level to achieve significant improvements for quantum programs. Unlike quantum optimal control, our approach is bootstrapped from existing gate calibrations and the resulting pulses are simple. Our techniques are applicable to any quantum computer and realizable on current devices. We validate our techniques with millions of experimental shots on IBM quantum computers, controlled via the OpenPulse control interface. For representative benchmarks, our pulse control techniques achieve both 1.6x lower error rates and 2x faster execution time, relative to standard gate-based compilation. These improvements are critical in the near-term era of quantum computing, which is bottlenecked by error rates and qubit lifetimes.
  4. Crosstalk is a major source of noise in Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) systems and is a fundamental challenge for hardware design. When multiple instructions are executed in parallel, crosstalk between the instructions can corrupt the quantum state and lead to incorrect program execution. Our goal is to mitigate the application impact of crosstalk noise through software techniques. This requires (i) accurate characterization of hardware crosstalk, and (ii) intelligent instruction scheduling to serialize the affected operations. Since crosstalk characterization is computationally expensive, we develop optimizations which reduce the characterization overhead. On 3 20-qubit IBMQ systems, we demonstrate two orders of magnitude reduction in characterization time (compute time on the QC device) compared to all-pairs crosstalk measurements. Informed by these characterization, we develop a scheduler that judiciously serializes high crosstalk instructions balancing the need to mitigate crosstalk and exponential decoherence errors from serialization. On real-system runs on 3 IBMQ systems, our scheduler improves the error rate of application circuits by up to 5.6x, compared to the IBM instruction scheduler and offers near-optimal crosstalk mitigation in practice. In a broader picture, the difficulty of mitigating crosstalk has recently driven QC vendors to move towards sparser qubit connectivity or disabling nearby operations entirely inmore »hardware, which can be detrimental to performance. Our work makes the case for software mitigation of crosstalk errors.« less
  5. Quantum computers have recently made great strides and are on a long-term path towards useful fault-tolerant computation. A dominant overhead in fault-tolerant quantum computation is the production of high-fidelity encoded qubits, called magic states, which enable reliable error-corrected computation. We present the first detailed designs of hardware functional units that implement space-time optimized magic-state factories for surface code error-corrected machines. Interactions among distant qubits require surface code braids (physical pathways on chip) which must be routed. Magic-state factories are circuits comprised of a complex set of braids that is more difficult to route than quantum circuits considered in previous work [1]. This paper explores the impact of scheduling techniques, such as gate reordering and qubit renaming, and we propose two novel mapping techniques: braid repulsion and dipole moment braid rotation. We combine these techniques with graph partitioning and community detection algorithms, and further introduce a stitching algorithm for mapping subgraphs onto a physical machine. Our results show a factor of 5.64 reduction in space-time volume compared to the best-known previous designs for magic-state factories.