The Quantum von Neumann Architecture and the Future of Quantum Computing with Superconducting Circuits

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Superconducting quantum circuits have made significant advances over the past decade, allowing more complex and integrated circuits that perform with good fidelity. We have recently implemented a machine comprising seven quantum channels, with three superconducting resonators, two phase qubits, and two zeroing registers. I will explain the design and operation of this machine, first showing how a single microwave photon |1> can be prepared in one resonator and coherently transferred between the three resonators [1]. I will then demonstrate how this machine can be used as the quantum-mechanical analog of the von Neumann computer architecture, which for a classical computer comprises a central processing unit and a memory holding both instructions and data. The quantum version comprises a quantum central processing unit (quCPU) that exchanges data with a quantum random-access memory (quRAM) integrated on one chip, with instructions stored on a classical computer [2]. Finally, I will demonstrate that the quantum von Neumann machine provides one unit cell of a two-dimensional qubit-resonator array that can be used for surface code quantum computing. This will allow the realization of a scalable, fault-tolerant quantum processor with the most forgiving error rates to date [3].
[1] M. Mariantoni et al., Nature Physics 7, 287-293 (2011)
[2] M. Mariantoni et al., Science 334, 61-65 (2011)
[3] A. G. Fowler, M. Mariantoni, J. M. Martinis, and A. N. Cleland, Phys. Rev. A 86, 032324 (2012)