Quantum Performance Laboratory
The Quantum Performance Laboratory (QPL) is a research and development (R&D) group within Sandia National Laboratories. We develop and deploy cutting-edge techniques for assessing the performance of quantum computing hardware, serving the needs of the U.S. government, industry, and academia.
The QPL studies the performance of quantum computing devices, and develops practical methods to assess it. Our research produces:
- insight into the failure mechanisms of real-world quantum computing processors,
- well-motivated metrics of low- and high-level performance,
- predictive models of multi-qubit quantum processors, and
- concrete, tested protocols for evaluating as-built experimental processors.
We develop, maintain, and support the open-source pyGSTi software package. PyGSTi provides an extensive suite of tools and algorithms for evaluating individual qubits and many-qubit processors. We collaborate with a wide range of partners in industry and academia to develop new performance assessment tools and apply them to newly developed quantum computing platforms. We publish our research results in scientific journals including Nature, Nature Physics, Nature Communications, Physical Review X, PRX Quantum, and Physical Review Letters. See our Publications page for details.
In addition to our R&D capabilities, the QPL also provides quantum hardware assessment capabilities directly to the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Government.
QPL researchers include Sandia research staff, postdoctoral fellows, PhD students from several research universities, and affiliates. As of 2022, our core personnel include seven permanent staff scientists, three postdoctoral researchers, and three PhD students. For more details, see our People page.
The Quantum Performance Lab is, first and foremost, a research organization. Our goal is to extend the frontiers of understanding performance of quantum computers and quantum computing components — e.g. qubits, gates, logical components and subroutines, and fully integrated quantum computing systems.
We pursue this goal through mathematical theory, numerical analysis, creation of new algorithms and software, and experimental tests and demonstrations in real-world quantum computing systems. We publish our research in journals and conferences, but we also implement (and test) our research in the pyGSTi open-source software.
To learn more about our research — what we study, and what we’ve discovered and created — see our Research Products page.
We share our research results with the broader quantum computing community through collaboration, open-source software, and — most importantly — peer-reviewed publications. QPL researchers have co-authored more than 30 papers since 2014. For a complete list, see our Publications page. Here are some recent highlights:
- R. Blume-Kohout et al., A taxonomy of small Markovian errors. PRX Quantum 3, 020335 (2022)
- A. R. Mills, C. R. Guinn, M. J. Gullans, A. J. Sigillito, M. M. Feldman, E. Nielsen, J. R. Petta, Two-qubit silicon quantum processor with operation fidelity exceeding 99%. Science Advances 8, abn5130 (April 2022).
- M. Mądzik et al., Precision tomography of a three-qubit electron-nuclear quantum processor in silicon. Nature 601, 348–353 (January 2022).
- K. Rudinger et al., Characterizing mid-circuit measurements on a superconducting qubit using gate set tomography, Phys. Rev. Applied 17, 014014 (January 2022).
- T. Proctor et al., Measuring the Capabilities of Quantum Computers. Nature Physics 18, 75-79 (January, 2022).
- E. Nielsen et al., Gate set tomography. Quantum 5, 557 (October 2021).
- R. Blume-Kohout and K. Young, A volumetric framework for quantum computer benchmarks, Quantum 4, 362 (November 2020).
- T. Proctor et al., Detecting and tracking drift in quantum information processors, Nature Communications 11, 5396 (October 2020).
QPL research and accomplishments have been highlighted by media, social media, and scientific editorials. If you are a journalist interested in the QPL’s work, please contact Robin Blume-Kohout (QPL co-lead) or Troy Rummler (Sandia Corporate Communications). Some examples of media coverage of the QPL and our accomplishments include:
- A DOE Science Highlight, “Probing the Inner Workings of High-Fidelity Quantum Processors,” showcased our recent collaborative research with UNSW (Sydney), and the growing impact of gate set tomography.
- A Nature News & Views editorial, "Silicon qubits move a step closer to achieving error correction" highlighted our 2022 Nature cover article "Precision tomography of a three-qubit electron-nuclear quantum processor in silicon". This result’s significance, and the role played by gate set tomography, was explained in a YouTube video and news releases by Sandia and ScienceInPublic.
- IEEE Spectrum published "New Standards Rolling Out for Clocking Quantum-Computer Performance" covering our 2022 Nature Physics paper "Measuring the performance of quantum computers". The news was also picked up by HPCWire, NewsBreak, Hardware-Specs, and Science Daily.
- An IonQ blog post, "Benchmarking our next-generation system" highlighted Timothy Proctor’s 2021 collaborative paper "Application-Oriented Performance Benchmarks for Quantum Computing" with the Quantum Economic Development Consortium (QED-C).
- Quantum commissioned a Perspective, "Gate set tomography is not just hyperaccurate, it’s a different way of thinking", covering our 2021 article "Gate set tomography".
- Quantum commissioned a Perspective, "Crosstalk diagnosis for the next generation of quantum processors", highlighting our 2020 article "Detecting crosstalk errors in quantum information processors".
Here’s the latest news from the QPL! See our complete list of Announcements for more.
- April, 2022: Science Advances has published "Two-qubit silicon quantum processor with operation fidelity exceeding 99%", a collaboration between Princeton researchers led by Jason Petta and QPL researcher Erik Nielsen. Congratulations to Erik! You can read more about this achievement at phys.org.
- March, 2022: The QPL has partnered with Q-CTRL to work on automated calibration, characterization, and optimization of near-term quantum processors. This project is funded through the Department of Energy’s US Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, and was highlighted in a news releases from InnovationAus and HPC Wire.
- January, 2022: The Quantum Performance Lab is growing! We are seeking to hire postdoctoral scholars. If you have (or are about to get) a PhD in a STEM field related to quantum information science, and are excited about inventing new techniques to measure or improve the performance of quantum computing hardware, we’d love to hear from you. See our Job Opportunities page for more information.
- January, 2022: Our article "Precision tomography of a three-qubit electron-nuclear quantum processor in silicon" is on the cover of Nature! It was also highlighted by a News & Views piece, a YouTube video, and news releases by Sandia and ScienceInPublic.
- January, 2022: Our paper "Characterizing mid-circuit measurements on a superconducting qubit using gate set tomography" is an Editor’s Suggestion in Physical Review Applied. Congratulations (especially) to first author Kenny Rudinger!
- December, 2021: Our paper "Measuring the performance of quantum computers" has been published in Nature Physics! Congratulations (especially) to first author Tim Proctor! IEEE Spectrum published a neat article about this work.