Blueprint for a Scalable Photonic Fault-Tolerant Quantum Computer

J. Eli Bourassa1,2, Rafael N. Alexander1,3,4, Michael Vasmer5,6, Ashlesha Patil1,7, Ilan Tzitrin1,2, Takaya Matsuura1,8, Daiqin Su1, Ben Q. Baragiola1,4, Saikat Guha1,7, Guillaume Dauphinais1, Krishna K. Sabapathy1, Nicolas C. Menicucci1,4, and Ish Dhand1

1Xanadu, Toronto, ON, M5G 2C8, Canada
2Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
3Center for Quantum Information and Control, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
4Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology, School of Science, RMIT University, Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia
5Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y5, Canada
6Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
7College of Optical Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85719, USA
8Department of Applied Physics, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, 7–3–1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113–8656, Japan

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Photonics is the platform of choice to build a modular, easy-to-network quantum computer operating at room temperature. However, no concrete architecture has been presented so far that exploits both the advantages of qubits encoded into states of light and the modern tools for their generation. Here we propose such a design for a scalable fault-tolerant photonic quantum computer informed by the latest developments in theory and technology. Central to our architecture is the generation and manipulation of three-dimensional resource states comprising both bosonic qubits and squeezed vacuum states. The proposal exploits state-of-the-art procedures for the non-deterministic generation of bosonic qubits combined with the strengths of continuous-variable quantum computation, namely the implementation of Clifford gates using easy-to-generate squeezed states. Moreover, the architecture is based on two-dimensional integrated photonic chips used to produce a qubit cluster state in one temporal and two spatial dimensions. By reducing the experimental challenges as compared to existing architectures and by enabling room-temperature quantum computation, our design opens the door to scalable fabrication and operation, which may allow photonics to leap-frog other platforms on the path to a quantum computer with millions of qubits.

The prototypical quantum computer ought to be universal, fault-tolerant, and scalable: ready to run any quantum algorithm, detect and correct the accruing errors, and accommodate scores of qubits. But there is a lot more to the design of a practical quantum computer, where one also looks for qualities like modularity, networkability, speed, and room-temperature operation. The photonic platform – a computer based on quantum states of light – gives perhaps the best hope to satisfy these criteria. In our paper we present the first detailed, comprehensive, top-down blueprint for such a computer. Our main theoretical innovation is to utilize a hybrid quantum state of light consisting of powerful but experimentally challenging checkerboard states, and more limited but easier-to-produce squeezed states. We lay out a complete mechanism for generating, processing, and measuring this state in the course of a fault-tolerant computation. The device we propose needs only planar, specialized, moderately-sized integrated photonic chips, a technology familiar to the telecommunications industry. The cryostats it needs – for the moment – are small and commercially available. And the quantum processor in our design establishes a brisk clock speed. These features, made possible by the flexibility of the photonic platform and by theoretical advancements in encoding and decoding that we detail, bring us closer to an operational quantum computer and its remarkable consequences.

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[16] E. R. Zinatullin, S. B. Korolev, and T. Yu. Golubeva, "Teleportation with a cubic phase gate", Physical Review A 104 3, 032420 (2021).

[17] Ulrik L. Andersen, "Photonic chip brings optical quantum computers a step closer", Nature 591 7848, 40 (2021).

[18] Joaquin Medina Dueñas, Gabriel O'Ryan Pérez, Carla Hermann-Avigliano, and Luis E. F. Foa Torres, "Quadrature protection of squeezed states in a one-dimensional photonic topological insulator", Quantum 5, 526 (2021).

[19] Shuhong Hao, Meihong Wang, Dong Wang, and Xiaolong Su, "Topological error correction with a Gaussian cluster state", Physical Review A 103 5, 052407 (2021).

[20] Francesco Arzani, "Harmonizing continuous noise to build a modular photonic quantum computer", Quantum Views 5, 51 (2021).

[21] Blayney W. Walshe, Ben Q. Baragiola, Rafael N. Alexander, and Nicolas C. Menicucci, "Continuous-variable gate teleportation and bosonic-code error correction", Physical Review A 102 6, 062411 (2020).

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[28] Animesh Sinha, Utkarsh Azad, and Harjinder Singh, "Qubit Routing using Graph Neural Network aided Monte Carlo Tree Search", arXiv:2104.01992.

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