Superconducting circuits offer tremendous design flexibility in the quantum regime culminating most recently in the demonstration of few qubit systems supposedly approaching the threshold for fault-tolerant quantum information processing. Competition in the solid-state comes from semiconductor qubits, where nature has bestowed some almost magical and very useful properties which can be utilized for spin qubit based quantum computing. Here we begin to explore how selective design principles deduced from spin-based systems could be used to advance superconducting qubit science. We take an initial step along this path proposing an encoded qubit approach realizable with state-of-the-art tunable Josephson junction qubits. Our results show that this design philosophy holds promise, enables microwave-free control with minimal overhead (zero overhead in 2-qubit gates), and offers a pathway to future qubit designs with new capabilities such as with higher fidelity or, perhaps, operation at higher temperature. The approach is especially suited to qubits based on variable super-semi junctions.
(Submitted on 28 Jul 2015)