Google Research

A flexible high-performance simulator for the verification and benchmarking of quantum circuits implemented on real hardware

  • Benjamin Villalonga
  • Sergio Boixo
  • Bron Nelson
  • Christopher Henze
  • Eleanor Rieffel
  • Rupak Biswas
  • Salvatore Mandra
arXiv:1811.09599 (2018)

Abstract

Here we present a flexible tensor network based simulator for quantum circuits on different topologies, including the Google Bristlecone QPU. Our simulator can compute both exact amplitudes, a task essential for the verification of the quantum hardware, as well as low-fidelity amplitudes to mimic Noisy Intermediate-Scale Quantum (NISQ) devices. While our simulator can be used to compute amplitudes of arbitrary quantum circuits, we focus on random quantum circuits (RQCs) [Boixo et al., Nature Physics 14] in the range of sizes expected for supremacy experiments. Our simulator enables the simulation of sampling on quantum circuits that were out of reach for previous approaches. For instance, our simulator is able to output single amplitudes with depth 1+32+1 for the full Google Bristlecone QPU in less than (f · 4200) hours on a single core, where 0 < f ≤ 1 is the target fidelity, on 2 × 20-core Intel Xeon Gold 6148 processors (Skylake). We also estimate that computing 106 amplitudes (with fidelity 0.50%) needed to sample from the full Google Bristlecone QPU with depth (1+32+1) would require about 3.5 days using the NASA Pleiades and Electra supercomputers combined. In addition, we discuss the hardness of the classical simulation of RQCs, as well as give evidence for the higher complexity in the simulation of Google’s Bristlecone topology as compared to other two-dimensional grids with the same number of qubits. Our analysis is supported by extensive simulations on NASA HPC clusters Pleiades (27th in the November 2018 TOP500 list) and Electra (33rd in the November 2018 TOP500 list). For the most computationally demanding simulation we had, namely the simulation of a 60-qubit sub-lattice of Bristlecone, the two HPC clusters combined reached a peak of 20 PFLOPS (single precision), that is 64% of their maximum achievable performance. To date, this numerical computation is the largest in terms of sustained PFLOPS and number of nodes utilized ever run on NASA HPC clusters.

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