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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.  

What we do

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 CommunicationsPhysical 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.

Who we are

QPL researchers include Sandia research staff, postdoctoral fellows, PhD students from several research universities, and affiliates. As of 2023, our core personnel include eight permanent staff scientists, seven postdoctoral researchers, and four full-time PhD students. For more details, see our People page.

Our research

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 40 papers since 2014. For a complete list, see our Publications page. Here are some recent highlights:


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:


Here’s the latest news from the QPL! See our complete list of Announcements for more.

  • November, 2023: Physical Review X has published “Demonstrating scalable randomized benchmarking of universal gate sets,” which introduces and demonstrates the first scalable randomized benchmarking protocol for universal (non-Clifford) gates.
  • September, 2023: Welcome to Riley Murray, who has joined the QPL as a staff scientist.
  • August, 2023: The QPL is excited to announce Assessing Performance of Quantum Computers (APQC) 2023, to be held Oct. 2-5 in Estes Park, CO!
  • July, 2023: Welcome to Aditya Dhumuntarao, who has joined the QPL as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • May, 2023: Welcome to Yale Fan, who has joined the QPL as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • April, 2023IEEE Transactions on Quantum Engineering has published “Application-Oriented Performance Benchmarks for Quantum Computing“, by Tim Proctor and a cadre of QED-C researchers, about a pioneering suite of application-centric benchmarks.
  • March, 2023: Welcome to Andrew Guo, who has joined the QPL as a postdoctoral fellow.
  • February, 2023: Welcome to Ashe Miller, who has joined the QPL as a postdoctoral fellow.