Honeywell has improved the performance of their H1 quantum computer and announced they have quadrupled the performance of the machine, as measured by the Quantum Volume (QV) benchmark, from 128 to 512. They stress that this is the highest measured performance of any company’s quantum computer. Both IBM and Honeywell had previously announced reaching the 128 level last year. IonQ has published a paper analysis that indicates their fifth generation machine should have a QV of 4,194,304 (this would be a 22 gate, 22 level circuit), but they have not yet backed up this claim with experimental data the way that IBM and Honeywell have.
The H1 model contains 10 qubits, so a quantum volume score of 512 would indicate a 9 qubit circuit with 9 levels. Although Honeywell did not release the specifics of exactly what they did to achieve this, these type of improvements can be commonly achieved with upgrades to the qubit control firmware and possibly minor upgrades to the hardware.
For more on Honeywell’s announcements, you can read two blog posts about this new QV achievement here and here. They also provide additional explanatory material about Quantum Volume here. Although Quantum Volume is a useful benchmark, we caution readers that it should not be the only parameter used to describe the goodness of a quantum computer as described in a previous article on our website here.
March 7, 2021