Existing protocols for benchmarking current quantum coprocessors fail to meet the usual standards for assessing the performance of high-performance-computing platforms. After a synthetic review of these protocols—whether at the gate, circuit, or application level—we introduce a new benchmark, dubbed Atos Q-score, which is application-centric, hardware-agnostic, and scalable to quantum advantage processor sizes and beyond. The Q-score measures the maximum number of qubits that can be used effectively to solve the MaxCut combinatorial optimization problem with the quantum approximate optimization algorithm. We give a robust definition of the notion of effective performance by introducing an improved approximation ratio based on the scaling of random and optimal algorithms. We illustrate the behavior of Q-score using perfect and noisy simulations of quantum processors. Finally, we provide an open-source implementation of Q-score that makes it easy to compute the Q-score of any quantum hardware.
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