Academic paper: Accelerating our path to fault-tolerance with a new suite of tools 

The successful development of a commercially viable, fault-tolerant quantum computer relies on an enormous number of current and future components coming together in an orchestrated manner. However, the complexity involved in achieving this is beyond what we as an industry understand today. 

As ORCA pursues its goals and advances across multiple fronts, the timeless adage rings true: ‘It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.’ 

So, to progress in key areas while respecting the uncertainties, we faced a significant challenge: how can we decouple dependencies and foster support for the broadest set of potential architectural outcomes? 

ORCA’s approach  

To tackle this, ORCA is prioritising generating resource states, a critical aspect that needs immediate attention. Resource states are the essential fuel for a photonic quantum computer, much like fuel for a vehicle.  

We’re developing a suite of interconnected tools for resource state generation that seamlessly integrate with a wide range of hardware specifications. This approach not only simplifies how to design resource state generators but also gives us the flexibility to navigate different schemes and efficiently tailor them to current or future hardware capabilities. 

By employing this methodology, we’re making short-term strides while also retaining the adaptability to pivot in the future. Our enhanced understanding of resource generation schemes coupled with a more unified perspective, enables us to navigate this space more effectively and easily generate multiple schemes to make the same resource state. And given the uncertainty surrounding future components, we need to prepare for the unknown. 

Preparing for the future 

When considering fault-tolerant systems with millions of components, having a lack of flexibility is like betting solely on the reliability of a handful of configurations. This dependence is a risky gamble and is one that no one should take. 

But our innovative approach not only drives short-term progress by generating schemes for current hardware but also enables us to proactively strategise for the future. By envisioning how to capitalise on potential hardware breakthroughs, this methodology acts as a proactive form of risk management, providing us with the adaptability to pivot as circumstances evolve. 

Read the full paper