Review Article | Published:

Roads towards fault-tolerant universal quantum computation

Nature volume 549, pages 172179 (14 September 2017) | Download Citation

  • A Correction to this article was published on 16 May 2018

This article has been updated

Abstract

A practical quantum computer must not merely store information, but also process it. To prevent errors introduced by noise from multiplying and spreading, a fault-tolerant computational architecture is required. Current experiments are taking the first steps toward noise-resilient logical qubits. But to convert these quantum devices from memories to processors, it is necessary to specify how a universal set of gates is performed on them. The leading proposals for doing so, such as magic-state distillation and colour-code techniques, have high resource demands. Alternative schemes, such as those that use high-dimensional quantum codes in a modular architecture, have potential benefits, but need to be explored further.

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Change history

  • 16 May 2018

    In Fig. 2b of this Review, gates 'Xa+c' and 'Zb' were swapped. This error has been corrected online.

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Acknowledgements

E.T.C. is supported by the EPSRC (EP/M024261/1). B.M.T. and C.V. acknowledge support from the EU through the ERC GRANT EQEC. This research was also supported in part by Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics. Research at Perimeter Institute is supported by the Government of Canada through Industry Canada and by the Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK

    • Earl T. Campbell
  2. JARA Institute for Quantum Information, RWTH Aachen University, 52056 Aachen, Germany

    • Barbara M. Terhal
    •  & Christophe Vuillot
  3. Forschungszentrum Juelich, D-52425 Juelich, Germany

    • Barbara M. Terhal

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Contributions

E.T.C., B.M.T. and C.V. contributed equally to the planning, writing, researching and graphical work in this Review. C.V. made the movie on the 3D colour code.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Barbara M. Terhal.

Reviewer Information Nature thanks H. Bombín and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Publisher's note: Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Videos

  1. 1.

    Construction of a 3D colour code

    A short video explaining what makes a tetrahedral colour code.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature23460

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