Fragmented imaginary-time evolution for early-stage quantum signal processors

Sci Rep. 2023 Oct 25;13(1):18258. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-45540-2.


Simulating quantum imaginary-time evolution (QITE) is a significant promise of quantum computation. However, the known algorithms are either probabilistic (repeat until success) with unpractically small success probabilities or coherent (quantum amplitude amplification) with circuit depths and ancillary-qubit numbers unrealistically large in the mid-term. Our main contribution is a new generation of deterministic, high-precision QITE algorithms that are significantly more amenable experimentally. A surprisingly simple idea is behind them: partitioning the evolution into a sequence of fragments that are run probabilistically. It causes a considerable reduction in wasted circuit depth every time a run fails. Remarkably, the resulting overall runtime is asymptotically better than in coherent approaches, and the hardware requirements are even milder than in probabilistic ones. Our findings are especially relevant for the early fault-tolerance stages of quantum hardware.