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The Provincial Council allocates aid to a quantum computing project promoted by Tecnun

The DECALOQC project aims to design quantum error correcting codes with improved functionalities by exploiting the so-called degeneracy property.

PhotoPaulaBerroa/Josu Etxezarreta, lead researcher Pedro Crespo, and Patricio Fuentes

10 | 12 | 2021

The Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa-Gipuzkoako Foru Aldundia has launched a new line of aid called Gipuzkoa Next, aimed at supporting projects linked to quantum computing.

TecnunTheSchool of Engineering of the University of Navarra is working on the design of degenerate quantum codes of large block lengths. Specifically, in the project: 'DECALOQC, Degenerate quantum error correction and theoretical limits of time-varying quantum channels', which aims to design quantum error correction codes with better functionalities by taking advantage of the so-called degeneracy property and studying the theoretical limits of error correction in the face of variable noise, "so that engineers know how good their methods can be", says Pedro Crespo, professor at Tecnun and principal investigator of the project.

One of the peculiarities of quantum error correction codes is degeneracy, a mechanism by whichmultiple distinct errors can be corrected by the same operation. However, since there is no equivalent phenomenon in the classical communications paradigm, the scientific community lacks a proven means to detect and exploit degeneracy.

This work begins with the translation and transformation of matrix algebra concepts used in the classical coding world to the quantum environment, followed by verification through computer simulations. Subsequently, once the validity of the method has been verified, it can be used to construct 'degenerate' correcting codes that exploit the advantageous degeneracy property to the full. In this way, it is intended to present a construction of degenerate quantum codes that can be used to protect today's quantum computers and those of the future against quantum noise.

The construction of quantum error-correcting codes requires prior knowledge of the nature of the noise they will combat. Recently, researchers from the Mathematical Principles group at Tecnun have proposed a novel mathematical model known as the time-varying quantum channel to describe the noise that arises in a quantum computer. This mathematical model provides a more realistic description of the decoherence suffered by superconducting qubits, which have been experimentally observed to have time-varying decoherence times. Superconducting technology is the most widely used technology for building qubits today, used by technology giants such as Google, IBM and Intel.

In this context, another objective of the DECALOQC project is to study the theoretical limits of quantum error correction when considering time-varying channels. These theoretical bounds represent the best performance that error-correcting codes can achieve if properly designed against such noise models. In this way, such bounds illuminate the path for engineers trying to build error-correcting codes.

On the other hand, it should be noted thatthe Mathematical Principles group at Tecnun is also involved in two new quantum projects. One with the Ministry of Science and Innovation, and another project within the National Quantum Computing Plan of the same Ministry.

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