Here is a list of code families which contain quantum MDS codes.
Code Description MDS Detail
Cyclic linear \(q\)-ary code A \(q\)-ary code of length \(n\) is cyclic if, for each codeword \(c_1 c_2 \cdots c_n\), the cyclically shifted string \(c_n c_1 \cdots c_{n-1}\) is also a codeword. A cyclic code is called primitive when \(n=q^r-1\) for some \(r\geq 2\). A shortened cyclic code is obtained from a cyclic code by taking only codewords with the first \(j\) zero entries, and deleting those zeroes. Quantum MDS codes can be constructed from \(q\)-ary cyclic codes using the Hermitian construction [1].
Five-qubit perfect code Five-qubit stabilizer code with generators that are symmetric under cyclic permutation of qubits, \begin{align} \begin{split} S_1 &= IXZZX \\ S_2 &= XZZXI \\ S_3 &= ZZXIX \\ S_4 &= ZXIXZ~. \end{split} \end{align} The five-qubit code is one of the two qubit quantum MDS codes.
Galois-qudit GRS code True \(q\)-Galois-qudit stabilizer code constructed from generalized Reed-Solomon (GRS) codes via either the Hermitian construction [2][3][4] or the Galois-qudit CSS construction [5][6]. Some Galois-qudit GRS codes are quantum MDS [2].
Galois-qudit RS code Also called a polynomial code (QPyC). An \([[n,k,n-k+1]]_{GF(q)}\) (with \(q>n\)) Galois-qudit CSS code constructed using two Reed-Solomon codes over \(GF(q)\). A polynomial code is a quantum MDS code when \(n-k_1=k_1-k_2\).
Maximum distance separable (MDS) code A \([n,k,d]_q\) \(q\)-ary linear code is an MDS code if parameters \(n\), \(k\), \(d\), and \(q\) are such that the Singleton bound \begin{align} d \leq n-k+1 \end{align} becomes an equality. A code is called almost MDS (AMDS) when \(d=n-k\). A bound for general \(q\)-ary codes can also be formulated; see Thm. 1.9.10 in Ref. [7]. A code is near MDS (NMDS) if the code and its dual are mode AMDS.
Quantum Reed-Solomon code Also called prime-qudit polynomial code (QPyC). Prime-qudit CSS code constructed using two Reed-Solomon codes. A polynomial code is a quantum MDS code when \(n-k_1=k_1-k_2\).
Quantum maximum-distance-separable (MDS) code An \(((n,q^k,d))\) code constructed out of \(q\)-dimensional qudits is an MDS code if parameters \(n\), \(k\), \(d\), and \(q\) are such that the quantum Singleton bound \begin{align} 2(d-1) \leq n-k \end{align} becomes an equality.
Singleton-bound approaching AQECC Approximate quantum code of rate \(R\) that can tolerate adversarial errors nearly saturating the quantum Singleton bound of \((1-R)/2\). The formulation of such codes relies on a notion of quantum list decoding. Sampling a description of this code can be done with an efficient randomized algorithm with \(2^{-\Omega(n)}\) failure probability. Singleton-bound approaching AQECCs saturate the quantum Singleton bound.
Three qutrit code A \([[3,1,2]]_3\) prime-qudit CSS code with stabilizer generators \(ZZZ\) and \(XXX\). The code defines a quantum secret-sharing scheme and serves as a minimal model for the AdS/CFT holographic duality. It is also the smallest non-trivial instance of a quantum maximum distance separable code (QMDS), saturating the quantum Singleton bound. The codewords are \begin{align} \begin{split} | \overline{0} \rangle &= \frac{1}{\sqrt{3}} (| 000 \rangle + | 111 \rangle + | 222 \rangle) \\ | \overline{1} \rangle &= \frac{1}{\sqrt{3}} (| 012 \rangle + | 120 \rangle + | 201 \rangle) \\ | \overline{2} \rangle &= \frac{1}{\sqrt{3}} (| 021 \rangle + | 102 \rangle + | 210 \rangle)~. \end{split} \end{align} The elements in the superposition of each logical codeword are related to each other via cyclic permutations. The three-qutrit code is the smallest nontrivial quantum MDS code.
True Galois-qudit stabilizer code Also called a linear stabilizer code. A \([[n,k,d]]_{GF(q)}\) stabilizer code whose stabilizer's symplectic representation forms a linear subspace. In other words, the set of \(q\)-ary vectors representing the stabilizer group is closed under both addition and multiplication by elements of \(GF(q)\). In contrast, Galois-qudit stabilizer codes admit sets of vectors that are closed under addition only. Many MDS codes are constructed from Hermitian self-orthogonal codes over \(GF(q^2)\) using the Hermitian construction [8][9][10][11], in particular from cyclic [1], constacyclic [12][13] and negacyclic [14] codes.
\([[2m,2m-2,2]]\) error-detecting code Also known as the iceberg code. CSS stabilizer code for \(m\geq 2\) with generators \(\{XX\cdots X, ZZ\cdots Z\} \) acting on all \(2m\) physical qubits. Admits a basis such that each codeword is a superposition of a computational basis state labeled by a bitstring \(b\) and a state labeled by the negation of \(b\). Such states generalize the two-qubit Bell states and three-qubit GHz states and are often called cat states. The \([[2m,2m-2,2]]\) error-detecting code is one of the two qubit quantum MDS [8].
\([[4,2,2]]\) CSS code Also known as the \(C_4\) code. Four-qubit CSS stabilizer code with generators \(\{XXXX, ZZZZ\} \) and codewords \begin{align} \begin{split} |\overline{00}\rangle = (|0000\rangle + |1111\rangle)/\sqrt{2}~{\phantom{.}}\\ |\overline{01}\rangle = (|0011\rangle + |1100\rangle)/\sqrt{2}~{\phantom{.}}\\ |\overline{10}\rangle = (|0101\rangle + |1010\rangle)/\sqrt{2}~{\phantom{.}}\\ |\overline{11}\rangle = (|0110\rangle + |1001\rangle)/\sqrt{2}~. \end{split} \end{align} This code is the smallest single-qubit error-detecting code. It is also the smallest instance of the toric code, and its various single-qubit subcodes are small planar surface codes.


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Xianmang He, Liqing Xu, and Hao Chen, “New $q$-ary Quantum MDS Codes with Distances Bigger than $\frac{q}{2}$”. 1507.08355
Liangdong Lu et al., “New Quantum MDS codes constructed from Constacyclic codes”. 1803.07927
X. Kai, S. Zhu, and P. Li, “Constacyclic Codes and Some New Quantum MDS Codes”, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 60, 2080 (2014). DOI
B. Chen, S. Ling, and G. Zhang, “Application of Constacyclic Codes to Quantum MDS Codes”, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 61, 1474 (2015). DOI
X. Kai and S. Zhu, “New Quantum MDS Codes From Negacyclic Codes”, IEEE Transactions on Information Theory 59, 1193 (2013). DOI