Research feeds Development
Turning the crank of the roadmap with an eye towards details like reliability and reproducibility is one thing. However, the more critical part of the hardware effort is the research that feeds in at every juncture. An agile framework is essential for an effort of this magnitude to be successful.
There is a need for learning (and thus failing) fast! On the device front, for example, we have observed tremendous progress on both gate errors and their spread; on coherence improvements; and on crosstalk reduction. All these aspects need to work together optimally to get the highest possible performance and reliability from the device. The gateway to development leans heavily on fundamental research.
Evolution on the lattice connectivity and design, for example, had a strong impact on our gate errors and exposure to crosstalk. From a control hardware and infrastructure perspective, better cryogenic components, control electronics, and quantum-limited amplifiers also all require further research.
Any of these advances, of course, need to happen dynamically within a research environment, and be vetted and validated before becoming a roadmap for deployment. Typically, as systems grow, previous solutions may break down and require new refinements. Thus, progress makes its mark at different levels of development in the lab and in the cloud.
To hit our latest Quantum Volume milestone, we combined elements of learning developed along the generational development threads, together with new ideas from research. Last year we demonstrated advances in single-qubit coherence, pushing greater than 10 million quality factor on isolated devices. Through iteration and test, we started to implement similar techniques with our most advanced integration structures in the larger deployment devices.
Raleigh, our newest 28Q backend in the Falcon family, follows the hexagonal lattice structure of the 53-qubit Rochester. Along with some of the upgrades we have been building into the later-generation Penguin devices, it sends us across the QV 32 threshold for the first time. It is one more step on the curve, and an optimistic affirmation that we have a roadmap towards success for all to follow.
Furthermore, we are excited that there is room on top for this to continue. To compare at a qubit metric level with quality factor, we can see how Raleigh stacks up against Penguin backends, as well as our coherence development systems. As you can see with Raleigh, we have improved upon coherence aspects over some early devices, but we also have promising new directions and processes under test that we have just begun to explore on a new development system device.