High-fidelity and rapid readout of a qubit state is key to quantum computing and communication, and it is a prerequisite for quantum error correction. We present a readout scheme forsuperconducting qubits that combines two microwave techniques: applying a shelving technique to the qubit that effectively increases the energy-relaxation time, and a two-tone excitation of the readout resonator to distinguish among qubit populations in higher energy levels. Using a machine-learning algorithm to post-process the two-tone measurement results further improves the qubit-state assignment fidelity. We perform single-shot frequency-multiplexed qubit readout, with a 140ns readout time, and demonstrate 99.5% assignment fidelity for two-state readout and 96.9% for three-state readout – without using a quantum-limited amplifier.

While all quantum algorithms can be expressed in terms of single-qubit and two-qubit gates, more expressive gate sets can help reduce the algorithmic depth. This is important in thepresence of gate errors, especially those due to decoherence. Using superconducting qubits, we have implemented a three-qubit gate by simultaneously applying two-qubit operations, thereby realizing a three-body interaction. This method straightforwardly extends to other quantum hardware architectures, requires only a „firmware“ upgrade to implement, and is faster than its constituent two-qubit gates. The three-qubit gate represents an entire family of operations, creating flexibility in quantum-circuit compilation. We demonstrate a gate fidelity of 97.90%, which is near the coherence limit of our device. We then generate two classes of entangled states, the GHZ and W states, by applying the new gate only once; in comparison, decompositions into the standard gate set would have a two-qubit gate depth of two and three, respectively. Finally, we combine characterization methods and analyze the experimental and statistical errors on the fidelity of the gates and of the target states.