Quantum computers will require quantum error correction to reach the low error rates necessary for solving problems that surpass the capabilities of conventional computers. One of thedominant errors limiting the performance of quantum error correction codes across multiple technology platforms is leakage out of the computational subspace arising from the multi-level structure of qubit implementations. Here, we present a resource-efficient universal leakage reduction unit for superconducting qubits using parametric flux modulation. This operation removes leakage down to our measurement accuracy of 7⋅10−4 in approximately 50ns with a low error of 2.5(1)⋅10−3 on the computational subspace, thereby reaching durations and fidelities comparable to those of single-qubit gates. We demonstrate that using the leakage reduction unit in repeated weight-two stabilizer measurements reduces the total number of detected errors in a scalable fashion to close to what can be achieved using leakage-rejection methods which do not scale. Our approach does neither require additional control electronics nor on-chip components and is applicable to both auxiliary and data qubits. These benefits make our method particularly attractive for mitigating leakage in large-scale quantum error correction circuits, a crucial requirement for the practical implementation of fault-tolerant quantum computation.

The performance of a wide range of quantum computing algorithms and protocols depends critically on the fidelity and speed of the employed qubit readout. Examples include gate sequencesbenefiting from mid-circuit, real-time, measurement-based feedback, such as qubit initialization, entanglement generation, teleportation, and perhaps most importantly, quantum error correction. A prominent and widely-used readout approach is based on the dispersive interaction of a superconducting qubit strongly coupled to a large-bandwidth readout resonator, frequently combined with a dedicated or shared Purcell filter protecting qubits from decay. By dynamically reducing the qubit-resonator detuning and thus increasing the dispersive shift, we demonstrate a beyond-state-of-the-art two-state-readout error of only 0.25% in 100 ns integration time. Maintaining low readout-drive strength, we nearly quadruple the signal-to-noise ratio of the readout by doubling the readout mode linewidth, which we quantify by considering the hybridization of the readout-resonator and its dedicated Purcell-filter. We find excellent agreement between our experimental data and our theoretical model. The presented results are expected to further boost the performance of new and existing algorithms and protocols critically depending on high-fidelity, fast, mid-circuit measurements.

The ability to execute high-fidelity operations is crucial to scaling up quantum devices to large numbers of qubits. However, signal distortions originating from non-linear componentsin the control lines can limit the performance of single-qubit gates. In this work, we use a measurement based on error amplification to characterize and correct the small single-qubit rotation errors originating from the non-linear scaling of the qubit drive rate with the amplitude of the programmed pulse. With our hardware, and for a 15-ns pulse, the rotation angles deviate by up to several degrees from a linear model. Using purity benchmarking, we find that control errors reach 2×10−4, which accounts for half of the total gate error. Using cross-entropy benchmarking, we demonstrate arbitrary-angle single-qubit gates with coherence-limited errors of 2×10−4 and leakage below 6×10−5. While the exact magnitude of these errors is specific to our setup, the presented method is applicable to any source of non-linearity. Our work shows that the non-linearity of qubit drive line components imposes a limit on the fidelity of single-qubit gates, independent of improvements in coherence times, circuit design, or leakage mitigation when not corrected for.

Josephson traveling wave parametric amplifiers enable the amplification of weak microwave signals close to the quantum limit with large bandwidth, which has a broad range of applicationsin superconducting quantum computing and in the operation of single-photon detectors. While the large bandwidth allows for their use in frequency-multiplexed detection architectures, an increased number of readout tones per amplifier puts more stringent requirements on the dynamic range to avoid saturation. Here, we characterize the undesired mixing processes between the different frequency-multiplexed tones applied to a Josephson traveling wave parametric amplifier, a phenomenon also known as intermodulation distortion. The effect becomes particularly significant when the amplifier is operated close to its saturation power. Furthermore, we demonstrate that intermodulation distortion can lead to significant crosstalk and reduction of fidelity for multiplexed readout of superconducting qubits. We suggest using large detunings between the pump and signal frequencies to mitigate crosstalk. Our work provides insights into the limitations of current Josephson traveling wave parametric amplifiers and highlights the importance of performing further research on these devices.

Quantum computers hold the promise of solving computational problems which are intractable using conventional methods. For fault-tolerant operation quantum computers must correct errorsoccurring due to unavoidable decoherence and limited control accuracy. Here, we demonstrate quantum error correction using the surface code, which is known for its exceptionally high tolerance to errors. Using 17 physical qubits in a superconducting circuit we encode quantum information in a distance-three logical qubit building up on recent distance-two error detection experiments. In an error correction cycle taking only 1.1μs, we demonstrate the preservation of four cardinal states of the logical qubit. Repeatedly executing the cycle, we measure and decode both bit- and phase-flip error syndromes using a minimum-weight perfect-matching algorithm in an error-model-free approach and apply corrections in postprocessing. We find a low error probability of 3% per cycle when rejecting experimental runs in which leakage is detected. The measured characteristics of our device agree well with a numerical model. Our demonstration of repeated, fast and high-performance quantum error correction cycles, together with recent advances in ion traps, support our understanding that fault-tolerant quantum computation will be practically realizable.

Quantum computing crucially relies on the ability to efficiently characterize the quantum states output by quantum hardware. Conventional methods which probe these states through directmeasurements and classically computed correlations become computationally expensive when increasing the system size. Quantum neural networks tailored to recognize specific features of quantum states by combining unitary operations, measurements and feedforward promise to require fewer measurements and to tolerate errors. Here, we realize a quantum convolutional neural network (QCNN) on a 7-qubit superconducting quantum processor to identify symmetry-protected topological (SPT) phases of a spin model characterized by a non-zero string order parameter. We benchmark the performance of the QCNN based on approximate ground states of a family of cluster-Ising Hamiltonians which we prepare using a hardware-efficient, low-depth state preparation circuit. We find that, despite being composed of finite-fidelity gates itself, the QCNN recognizes the topological phase with higher fidelity than direct measurements of the string order parameter for the prepared states.