Best tool to develop and simulate quantum computing algorithms or circuits?

Science advances inexorably towards the construction of quantum computers with different technologies, unfortunately this type of research can only be carried out in specialized laboratories, it is not something anybody can do at home. What we can do at home is to use simulation tools to design quantum algorithms. Nowadays, different programming languages, development environments and quantum computer simulators are proliferating. Some developed by important companies such as IBM, Google or Microsoft, other free projects or from universities. As of yet, which is the most advanced or complete tool?

  • Microsoft Quantum Development Kit
  • Microsoft LIQUi>
  • IBM Quantum Experience
  • Qiskit
  • Quantum Computing Playground (Google)
  • Rigetti
  • Forest
  • ProjectQ
  • QuTiP
  • OpenFermion
  • Qbsolv
  • ScaffCC
  • Raytheon
  • BBN
  • Quirk Simulator

Does anyone have any experience with them? I would like to practice with one of them to implement algorithms and simulate things. Some years ago I studied quantum mechanics and several related subjects but quantum computing was almost unknown by then. I also have some experience with classic analogic and digital electronics. I have almost no idea about Quantum computing.

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4 Answer(s)

My background is in math and computer science, not in quantum physics whatsoever, I can only speak from my own perspective.  Depending on your programming preference,  IBM QISKit is in python, and so do a lot of the smaller start-ups you mention such as QuTip and Forest (Rigetti).   Microsoft LIQUi is in a new language, Q# compiles on visual studio compiler,  if you are familiar with windows programming it will be a great help.   From what I know,  at this moment only IBM and Google quantum computing playground is running on a real machine instead of simulators.  Google Quantum computing playground is very basic, you can’t do much actual programming with it, they use D-Wave machine which allows 22 qubits.  There are lots of comments saying it doesn’t work, most likely browser incompatible,  it looks like no one is actually maintaining the site, looks like it is a website in an attempt to drive sales to D-Wave (which Google bought).

Answered on April 2, 2018.
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Hello  @clwereley

Nice to see somebody else is interested.

I’m replying instead of commenting because I’m not allowed to.

What do you mean with “At this moment only IBM and Google quantum computing playground is running on a real machine instead of simulators.” ?

Do they use a real quantum machine to simulate users’ programs?

Which one would you choose if you could learn any of them?

Answered on April 2, 2018.
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Hi @skan,

Yes IBM has a real quantum computer (IBM Q) built and successfully test early last year, run on 5 qubits.  At that time they were planning to rollout a 50 qubits in a few years.   My understanding is that the current ‘cloud’ access and the QISKits dev kit is interfacing between the classic computer (Watson) and the 5 qubit IBM Q.

D-Wave claims to be the first company to build a commercially available quantum computer.  These guys got a lot of supports and fundings from NASA and Google.  You can find some interesting information on wiki https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D-Wave_Systems  So far most of what I saw from D-Wave are extraordinary claims.  IBM Q came out and said theirs is 400 times faster than  D-Wave.  Sounds like the number of qubits has nothing to do with how fast the processor scale.   Google Quantum Computing Playground is using D-Wave machine since they own them, but why only 20 qubits and how it interfaces with their web frontend and the language use is not well documented.

Which one would I choose, that’s a good question.  I will most likely spend my time on IBM Q.  Currently, I found the most free resources from IBM, although it is still very limited because I am not in school and not a researcher (nor will I be one, need to earn a living and not a professor).  I like what I read on QuTip, it’s very well documented and it is basically python with the same libraries for statistical analysis.  But given QuTip is very small, you never know if they will lay dormant ones the bigs guys push their own dev kits.

Another thing about IBM, I am trying to integrate their Hyperledger (blockchain) on one of my web app.  Nobody is talking about it right now but there is no way any classic processors can handle any more crypto/token and contracts transactions with the pace we are moving without crapping out soon.

Answered on April 5, 2018.
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I’ve read that the D-Wave computer is not a quantum computer:
They use 512 qubits but they haven’t demonstrated its qubits aren’t entangled, its qubits don’t work in parallel, it’s not an adiabatic quantum computer.

Furthermore it’s not a general purpose computer, it can just do an algorithm, simulated annealing.

Answered on April 5, 2018.
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