# Classification of topologically protected gates for local stabilizer codes

## Abstract

Given a quantum error correcting code, an important task is to find encoded operations that can be implemented efficiently and fault tolerantly. In this Letter we focus on topological stabilizer codes and encoded unitary gates that can be implemented by a constant-depth quantum circuit. Such gates have a certain degree of protection since propagation of errors in a constant-depth circuit is limited by a constant size light cone. For the 2D geometry we show that constant-depth circuits can only implement a finite group of encoded gates known as the Clifford group. This implies that topological protection must be "turned off" for at least some steps in the computation in order to achieve universality. For the 3D geometry we show that an encoded gate U is implementable by a constant-depth circuit only if UPU† is in the Clifford group for any Pauli operator P. This class of gates includes some non-Clifford gates such as the π/8 rotation. Our classification applies to any stabilizer code with geometrically local stabilizers and sufficiently large code distance. © 2013 American Physical Society.