Riverlane has been granted a United States Patent for its “quantum computing decoder and associated methods” to address the ‘backlog problem’ – a fundamental barrier to scaling quantum computers.

Quantum computers generate a vast amount of data, which must be processed in real time to correct the errors these machines are prone to. Previous decoding approaches could not keep up with this volume of data, creating a backlog problem that slows down (and eventually stops) the computation.

Earl Campbell, VP of quantum science at Riverlane, said: “Quantum computers promise to complete certain calculations in seconds where a regular supercomputer might take billions of years. But keeping up with a quantum computer is not easy. These machines create vast amounts of data that must be decoded in real time. It’s a serious problem. As we scale, it could stop quantum computers in their tracks and prevent them from ever achieving anything useful.”

The team has developed a new method to parallelise the decoders for quantum error correction. This parallelisation method essentially delays some of the data processing decisions, breaking up the decoding task into chunks of work that we call “windows”. But we don’t wait for the first window to finish processing the data before moving to the next window. Instead, we decode multiple non-overlapping windows in parallel.

This is a key technical milestone as Riverlane continues to build the Quantum Error Correction Stack to make quantum computing useful, sooner. You can read more about this parallelisation method here.