Indexed on: 26 Sep '12Published on: 26 Sep '12Published in: Physical review letters
We describe an extension of single-qubit gate randomized benchmarking that measures the error of multiqubit gates in a quantum information processor. This platform-independent protocol evaluates the performance of Clifford unitaries, which form a basis of fault-tolerant quantum computing. We implemented the benchmarking protocol with trapped ions and found an error per random two-qubit Clifford unitary of 0.162±0.008, thus setting the first benchmark for such unitaries. By implementing a second set of sequences with an extra two-qubit phase gate inserted after each step, we extracted an error per phase gate of 0.069±0.017. We conducted these experiments with transported, sympathetically cooled ions in a multizone Paul trap-a system that can in principle be scaled to larger numbers of ions.