Abstract

Boson sampling is considered as a strong candidate to demonstrate ‘quantum computational supremacy’ over classical computers. However, previous proof-of-principle experiments suffered from small photon number and low sampling rates owing to the inefficiencies of the single-photon sources and multiport optical interferometers. Here, we develop two central components for high-performance boson sampling: robust multiphoton interferometers with 99% transmission rate and actively demultiplexed single-photon sources based on a quantum dot–micropillar with simultaneously high efficiency, purity and indistinguishability. We implement and validate three-, four- and five-photon boson sampling, and achieve sampling rates of 4.96 kHz, 151 Hz and 4 Hz, respectively, which are over 24,000 times faster than previous experiments. Our architecture can be scaled up for a larger number of photons and with higher sampling rates to compete with classical computers, and might provide experimental evidence against the extended Church–Turing thesis.

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Acknowledgements

We thank S. Aaronson, B. Sanders and P. Rohde for helpful discussions. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the National Fundamental Research Program and the State of Bavaria.

Author information

Author notes

    • Hui Wang
    • , Yu He
    •  & Yu-Huai Li

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. National Laboratory for Physical Sciences at Microscale and Department of Modern Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Shanghai Branch, Shanghai 201315, China

    • Hui Wang
    • , Yu He
    • , Yu-Huai Li
    • , Zu-En Su
    • , Bo Li
    • , He-Liang Huang
    • , Xing Ding
    • , Ming-Cheng Chen
    • , Chang Liu
    • , Jian Qin
    • , Jin-Peng Li
    • , Yu-Ming He
    • , Cheng-Zhi Peng
    • , Sven Höfling
    • , Chao-Yang Lu
    •  & Jian-Wei Pan
  2. CAS-Alibaba Quantum Computing Laboratory, CAS Centre for Excellence in Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Shanghai 201315, China

    • Hui Wang
    • , Yu He
    • , Yu-Huai Li
    • , Zu-En Su
    • , Bo Li
    • , He-Liang Huang
    • , Xing Ding
    • , Ming-Cheng Chen
    • , Chang Liu
    • , Jian Qin
    • , Jin-Peng Li
    • , Yu-Ming He
    • , Cheng-Zhi Peng
    • , Chao-Yang Lu
    •  & Jian-Wei Pan
  3. Technische Physik, Physikalisches Instität and Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen-Center for Complex Material Systems, Universitat Würzburg, Am Hubland, D-97074 Würzburg, Germany

    • Yu-Ming He
    • , Christian Schneider
    • , Martin Kamp
    •  & Sven Höfling
  4. SUPA, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews, St Andrews KY16 9SS, UK

    • Sven Höfling

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Contributions

C.-Y.L. and J.-W.P. conceived and designed the experiment, C.S., M.K. and S.H. grew and fabricated the quantum dot samples. H.W., Y.H., Y.-H.L., Z.-E.S., B.L., H.-L.H., X.D., M.-C.C., C.L., J.Q., J.-P.L., Y.-M.H., C.S., M.K., C.-Z.P., S.H. and C.-Y.L. performed the experiment, S.H., C.-Y. L. and J.-W.P. analysed the experimental data. C.-Y.L. and J.-W.P. wrote the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Chao-Yang Lu or Jian-Wei Pan.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2017.63