Assessing the performance of quantum repeaters for all phase-insensitive Gaussian bosonic channels

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One of the most sought-after goals in experimental quantum communication is the implementation of a quantum repeater. The performance of quantum repeaters can be assessed by comparing the attained rate with the quantum and private capacity of direct transmission, assisted by unlimited classical two-way communication. However, these quantities are hard to compute, motivating the search for upper bounds. Takeoka, Guha and Wilde found the squashed entanglement of a quantum channel to be an upper bound on both these capacities. In general it is still hard to find the exact value of the squashed entanglement of a quantum channel, but clever sub-optimal squashing channels allow one to upper bound this quantity, and thus also the corresponding capacities. Here, we exploit this idea to obtain bounds for any phase-insensitive Gaussian bosonic channel. This bound allows one to benchmark the implementation of quantum repeaters for a large class of channels used to model communication across fibers. In particular, our bound is applicable to the realistic scenario when there is a restriction on the mean photon number on the input. Furthermore, we show that the squashed entanglement of a channel is convex in the set of channels, and we use a connection between the squashed entanglement of a quantum channel and its entanglement assisted classical capacity. Building on this connection, we obtain the exact squashed entanglement and two-way assisted capacities of the d-dimensional erasure channel and bounds on the amplitude-damping channel and all qubit Pauli channels. In particular, our bound improves on the previous best known squashed entanglement upper bound of the depolarizing channel.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • quantum information
  • quantum repeaters
  • quantum communication
  • secret key rate
  • quantum key distribution
  • squashed entanglement
  • private capacity


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