What Single Advance in Quantum Computing Is Most Needed in the Near Future?

Near future or near term — the next six months to a year or so

In a nutshell

Overview

Higher qubit fidelity is the most needed advance in quantum computing in the near term

Personal historical perspective

Advance vs. capability or feature or characteristic

Urgent need, importance, and priority

Criteria for selecting the single most important near-term advance in quantum computing

Different audiences may have different needs and priorities

The audience focus here is on quantum algorithm designers and quantum application developers

Researchers as an audience: what do they need in the near-term?

What is a near-perfect qubit?

What are nines of qubit fidelity?

Qubit fidelity includes coherence, gate errors, and measurement errors

Higher qubit fidelity not likely to achieve near-perfect qubits in the near term

Coherence time will limit the degree to which SWAP networks can be used to simulate connectivity

Two paths to greater circuit depth — longer coherence time or faster gate execution time

The IBM 127-qubit Eagle didn’t address the qubit fidelity issue

Preview of the IBM 433-qubit Osprey

Further improvement to qubit fidelity in the IBM 27-qubit Falcon?

Is 27 qubits the best we can do for the near term?

Where are all of the 40-qubit algorithms?

Need for automatically scalable quantum algorithms

Limited connectivity is more of an absolute barrier — all or nothing, incremental advances are not really possible

Advances not likely in the near term

Quantum error correction (QEC) is a critical priority, but not in the near term, except for research

Advances and capabilities not considered as critical gating or limiting factors in the near term

An alternative to the Quantum Volume metric is not essential for the near term

Advances in fine granularity of phase and probability amplitude not so likely in the near term

A more advanced quantum programming model is not likely in the near term

Advances in qubit fidelity have the added benefit of enabling other advances

Many advances will eventually bump into limitations in other capabilities

Ordering of advances — not so easy to predict or plan

Possible that some qubit technologies might do better than others in the near term

Limiting and critical gating factors may be algorithm-specific or application-specific

Special needs for variational methods

More capable simulators really are needed, but…

Use simulation to find limits for benefits

Any dispute as to the most urgent advance?

What would be the second most needed advance?

My original proposal for this topic

Summary and conclusions

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Freelance Consultant

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