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Riverlane wins UK government contract to assess how current quantum computers will scale to fault tolerance

Riverlane wins UK government contract to assess how current quantum computers will scale to fault tolerance
14 November, 2023

Riverlane has been named one of the first winners of a £15 million competition to explore the benefits of using quantum technologies in the government’s work across areas like health, transport and net zero. 

The Quantum Catalyst Fund aims to accelerate the adoption of quantum solutions by the public sector and will ensure the UK government is well-placed to fully harness the benefits of using these technologies across a range of policy areas. 

Today’s quantum computers are hindered by noise, which breaks down the complex calculations that quantum bits – qubits – are running. Quantum error correction is a set of techniques to overcome this noise and allows us to reach the point where quantum computers can unlock transformative use cases across a range of industries – aka fault-tolerant quantum computing. 

A crucial challenge for quantum error correction is developing quantum error correction codes that are efficient enough to help make reliable computers out of unreliable qubits. 

The project is called: “Assessing future resource requirements for fault tolerant quantum computers (Qiron)”. The main objective is to develop a software product that enables the accurate prediction of algorithm resource requirements for future fault-tolerant quantum computers – and it’s this accurate prediction of the quantum error correction performance of systems that will, ultimately, help us reach fault tolerant quantum computing, sooner. 

Riverlane will use experimental data collected from today's noisy quantum hardware systems and then use this data to accurately predict the achievable quality of the error-corrected qubits that future fault-tolerant systems will need.  

The team will develop all the necessary tools and methodologies to perform quantum error correction experiments on today's quantum hardware systems and benchmark them against state-of-the-art systems. Riverlane will generate new insights into the quantum error correction performance of current devices and examine how these affect the predictions of fault-tolerant algorithm resource requirements.  

Riverlane will then release a software prototype to the end-user and market it to academic and commercial hardware labs to ensure commercial success after the project ends.  

This deployable software solution will have the capability to generate new insights into the performance and potential of different qubit technologies as we approach fault tolerant quantum computing. Hardware labs will also be able to use this software solution to assess their quantum error correction capabilities and map the best route to fault tolerance. 

The Quantum Catalyst Fund is part of the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) which is funded by DSIT and Innovate UK. SBRI offers organisations the opportunity to work directly with the public sector to develop new technologies and processes, helping to meet efficiency targets and improving public services. It supports the research and development of solutions to solve public sector challenges. 

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