Phasecraft makes quantum computing breakthrough

Quantum computing start-up Phasecraft has developed a novel technique for modelling electrons that is said to significantly reduce quantum hardware resources needed to perform simulations.

An artistic rendering of how the new technique models fermions moving on a square grid. Designed by co-lead Joel Klassen.

Published in the Physical Review B journal from the American Physical Society, the study’s method for modelling fermionic particles could hold potential to advance global R&D efforts toward better energy technologies through more efficient and accurate material simulation.

“Many important fields such as chemistry and materials science are concerned with the dynamics of fermion particles in physical systems — in the form of electrons,” said co-leader of the study Charles Derby, a PhD candidate at UCL and Phasecraft team member. 

“Fermions are notoriously difficult to simulate on regular computers so being able to simulate them efficiently on a quantum device would provide a faster path to tackling hard problems in these areas of research, such as understanding high temperature superconductivity or improving chemical reaction efficiency.”

Funding boost for UK quantum computing

According to Derby, Phasecraft’s compact representation of fermions outperforms all previous representations improving memory use and algorithm size by at least 25 per cent. 

While quantum hardware has improved in recent years, existing devices remain limited and are prone to errors due to the gap between the hardware’s capabilities and the resources it needs.

In a statement announcing the study, UCL and Bristol University spin-out Phasecraft said its technique not only closes this gap, but has the added benefit of being able to detect and potentially help address errors in the computation.

Phasecraft said it is now conducting small-scale experiments to demonstrate the resource improvements and error mitigation methods on quantum hardware, as well as working with industry partners to explore how they could be applied to battery material simulation.

“At Phasecraft, we aim to speed up the timeline for quantum advantage,” said Phasecraft co-founder and research contributor Tony Cubitt. “By developing these new techniques that are tuned to quantum hardware’s limitations, Phasecraft may enable potential breakthroughs in energy efficiency and storage, chemistry, and far beyond.”