Xanadu gets to Quantum Advantage with their programmable Photonic Quantum Computer: Borealis.

The Canadian Quantum Computing start-up named Xanadu has reported in Nature that has achieved quantum computing advantage. This is achieved by the photonic device named Borealis which can perform a task quicker than traditional classical computers. Borealis enables all modes to be dynamicly programmed on all implemented gates. Tests show that classical equivalents of Gaussian boson sampling (GBS) would take more than 9,000 years to complete the same task, where as Borealis takes only a few tens of microseconds, a speed-up of over 50 million. The breakthrough is a key milestone on Xanadu’s roadmap towards a practical quantum computer.

Google’s team headed by John Martinis were the first to claim quantum supremacy with a super conducting device back in 2019 with a 53 qubit processor. “Quantum supremacy using a programmable superconducting processor” also published in nature and whilst the computation has no practical application, it did excite the community and also cause a fair amount of controversy. Photonics are one of the technical solutions that are generally considered to have massive potential. The likes of Prof Peter Knight from Imperial College have widely extolled the virtues of using light or photonics as some of the technology is fairly mature, but of course there are many differing advantages to myriad of technological approaches.

The work at Xanadu has illustrated the solution to overcoming some of the problems associated with time-domain multiplexing, fast electro-optical switching, high-speed photon-number-resolving detection technology and non-classical light generation. The result is a scalable and programmable Gaussian Boson sampler named Borealis. The resulting feature enables a 216 mode state with 3D entanglement.

Read the Paper in Nature Here.