Stim: a fast stabilizer circuit simulator

3 Mar 2021  ·  Craig Gidney ·

This paper presents ``Stim", a fast simulator for quantum stabilizer circuits. The paper explains how Stim works and compares it to existing tools... With no foreknowledge, Stim can analyze a distance 100 surface code circuit (20 thousand qubits, 8 million gates, 1 million measurements) in 15 seconds and then begin sampling full circuit shots at a rate of 1 kHz. Stim uses a stabilizer tableau representation, similar to Aaronson and Gottesman's CHP simulator, but with three main improvements. First, Stim improves the asymptotic complexity of deterministic measurement from quadratic to linear by tracking the {\em inverse} of the circuit's stabilizer tableau. Second, Stim improves the constant factors of the algorithm by using a cache-friendly data layout and 256 bit wide SIMD instructions. Third, Stim only uses expensive stabilizer tableau simulation to create an initial reference sample. Further samples are collected in bulk by using that sample as a reference for batches of Pauli frames propagating through the circuit. read more

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