Automating quantum experiment control
The field of quantum information processing is rapidly advancing. As the control of quantum systems approaches the level needed for useful computation, the physical hardware underlying the quantum systems is becoming increasingly complex. It is already becoming impractical to manually code control for the larger hardware implementations. In this chapter, we will employ an approach to the problem of system control that parallels compiler design for a classical computer. We will start with a candidate quantum computing technology, the surface electrode ion trap, and build a system instruction language which can be generated from a simple machine-independent programming language via compilation. We incorporate compile time generation of ion routing that separates the algorithm description from the physical geometry of the hardware. Extending this approach to automatic routing at run time allows for automated initialization of qubit number and placement and additionally allows for automated recovery after catastrophic events such as qubit loss. To show that these systems can handle real hardware, we present a simple demonstration system that routes two ions around a multi-zone ion trap and handles ion loss and ion placement. While we will mainly use examples from transport-based ion trap quantum computing, many of the issues and solutions are applicable to other architectures.
KeywordsQuantum computation Ion trap Circuit compilation Hardware control Scaling
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