Detecting crosstalk errors in quantum information processors

Mohan Sarovar, Timothy Proctor, Kenneth Rudinger, Kevin Young, Erik Nielsen, and Robin Blume-Kohout

Quantum Performance Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM 87185 and Livermore, CA 94550

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Crosstalk occurs in most quantum computing systems with more than one qubit. It can cause a variety of correlated and nonlocal $\textit{crosstalk errors}$ that can be especially harmful to fault-tolerant quantum error correction, which generally relies on errors being local and relatively predictable. Mitigating crosstalk errors requires understanding, modeling, and detecting them. In this paper, we introduce a comprehensive framework for crosstalk errors and a protocol for detecting and localizing them. We give a rigorous definition of crosstalk errors that captures a wide range of disparate physical phenomena that have been called ``crosstalk'', and a concrete model for crosstalk-free quantum processors. Errors that violate this model are crosstalk errors. Next, we give an equivalent but purely operational (model-independent) definition of crosstalk errors. Using this definition, we construct a protocol for detecting a large class of crosstalk errors in a multi-qubit processor by finding conditional dependencies between observed experimental probabilities. It is highly efficient, in the sense that the number of unique experiments required scales at most cubically, and very often quadratically, with the number of qubits. We demonstrate the protocol using simulations of 2-qubit and 6-qubit processors.

Crosstalk is a pressing concern for nearly all quantum computing hardware platforms; characterizing and mitigating errors due to various sources of crosstalk will be essential for achieving fault-tolerant quantum computation. Despite this, there is no general definition of crosstalk in the field and no general-purpose tools for efficiently characterizing, or even detecting, crosstalk. We address these critical needs by (i) formalizing crosstalk errors and developing a framework for characterizing the effects of crosstalk in quantum information processors (QIPs), and (ii) developing an efficient crosstalk error detection protocol for multi-qubit QIPs by adapting techniques from statistical causal inference.

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[2] Dominik Hangleiter, "Crosstalk diagnosis for the next generation of quantum processors", Quantum Views 4, 46 (2020).

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