The advent of quantum computers has required software solutions of a certain level to provide the essential basis for a quantum development environment for everyone. IBM, with its latest open-source software development kit, Qiskit, aims to create a programming environment where the complexity of the underlying technology is no longer a problem for users. In the future, a program will have to employ vast quantum and classical resources, and the solution will therefore have to be optimized at the speed of light. In an interview with EE Times, Blake Johnson, Quantum Platform Lead at IBM Quantum, pointed out that quantum technology is showing huge success and the software foundation needs to be laid for extensive use in the future. The Qiskit project is an open-source framework for working with quantum circuits and algorithms.
Candidates will have to prove during the test that they can create and execute quantum computing programs using IBM's Qiskit. Developers can now be officially quantum-certified. IBM has unveiled a quantum developer certification which it says, once devs have passed the 60-question test, will act as proof of at least some of the skills required to build and run quantum programs. The certification, unsurprisingly, focuses on IBM's own quantum computing software development kit (SDK), Qiskit, which is an open-source platform based on Python scripts that enables developers to carry out a range of quantum experiments, from prototyping quantum algorithms to executing code on cloud-based quantum devices. Candidates to the new certification will have to prove during the test that they can create and execute quantum computing programs on IBM computers and simulators using Qiskit.
Forty years after it first began to dabble in quantum computing, IBM is ready to expand the technology out of the lab and into more practical applications -- like supercomputing! The company has already hit a number of development milestones since it released its previous quantum roadmap in 2020, including the 127-qubit Eagle processor that uses quantum circuits and the Qiskit Runtime API. IBM announced on Wednesday that it plans to further scale its quantum ambitions and has revised the 2020 roadmap with an even loftier goal of operating a 4,000-qubit system by 2025. Before it sets about building the biggest quantum computer to date, IBM plans release its 433-qubit Osprey chip later this year and migrate the Qiskit Runtime to the cloud in 2023, "bringing a serverless approach into the core quantum software stack," per Wednesday's release. Those products will be followed later that year by Condor, a quantum chip IBM is billing as "the world's first universal quantum processor with over 1,000 qubits."
Using a combination of tweaked algorithms, improved control systems and a new quantum service called Qiskit Runtime, IBM researchers have managed to resolve a quantum problem 120 times faster than the previous time they gave it a go. Back in 2017, Big Blue announced that, equipped with a seven-qubit quantum processor, its researchers had successfully simulated the behavior of a small molecule called lithium hydride (LiH). At the time, the operation took 45 days. Now, four years later, the IBM Quantum team has announced that the same problem was solved in only nine hours. The simulation was run entirely on the cloud, through IBM's Qiskit platform – an open-source library of tools that lets developers around the world create quantum programs and run them on prototype quantum devices that IBM makes available over the cloud.
Working with real quantum computers just got easier for experts in chemistry, artificial intelligence, and optimization. Building on QISKit, our open source quantum information science kit for software development, we've released ACQUA -- Algorithms and Circuits for Quantum Applications. This new open source software allows classical computer applications to send complex operations to be run on quantum computers, over the cloud. Let me start by explaining the quantum software stack, and where QISKit and ACQUA fit. At the lowest level is the hardware where the qubits sit at the very cold temperature of 15 mK.