Photonic platforms represent a promising technology for the realization of several quantum communication protocols and for experiments of quantum simulation. Moreover, large-scale integrated interferometers have recently gained a relevant role in quantum computing, specifically with Boson Sampling devices and the race for quantum supremacy. Indeed, various linear optical schemes have been proposed for the implementation of unitary transformations, each one suitable for a specific task. Notwithstanding, so far a comprehensive analysis of the state of the art under broader and realistic conditions is still lacking. In the present work we fill this gap, providing in a unified framework a quantitative comparison of the three main photonic architectures, namely the ones with triangular and square designs and the so-called fast transformations. All layouts have been analyzed in presence of losses and imperfect control over the internal reflectivities and phases, showing that the square design outperforms the triangular scheme in most operational conditions. Our results represent a further step ahead towards the implementation of quantum information protocols on large-scale integrated photonic devices.
F. Flamini, N. Spagnolo, N. Viggianiello, A. Crespi, R. Osellame, F. Sciarrino, Benchmarking integrated linear-optical architectures for quantum information processing, Scientific Reports 7, 15133 (2017).