IBM Hackathon Leads to Quantum Cloud Integration With Trapped Ion Devices

Qiskit, is IBM’s open-source quantum computing platform and it now works with trapped ion devices – not just the IBM superconducting systems. The first company to connect Qiskit to a trapped ion device is Austrian-based startup Alpine Quantum Technologies. Their users can program a 5-qubit trapped ion device, over the cloud. They are a spinoff of the University of Innsbruck, students at the university can also use Qiskit to program their trapped ion device.
Nextbigfuture interviewed Paul Nation, a co-author of of the IBM Research blog. Paul worked with Alpine Quantum’s use of Qiskit and is a researcher at IBM.

The latest Qiskit 0.13 release features support for trapped ion devices via the introduction of XX – or Mølmer-Sørenson (MS) gates – transpilation between superconducting and trapped ion gate sets, and the qiskit-aqt-provider for communicating with the Innsbruck device.

Enabling this support only took three days from concept to data, and highlights the ease at which differing qubit platforms can be incorporated into the Qiskit framework. Here we showcase these new features and demonstrate how a Qiskit user can write a circuit once, and seamlessly execute it on IBM quantum and AQT backends.

There were two parts to create support for a new quantum technology on the qubit platform in Qiskit.

1. If the native gates do not currently exist, they must be specified. The trapped ion support involved specifying the global MS gate, and its corresponding two-qubit building block the XX-rotation gate (rxx). Once defined, the decomposition rules between different basis gates must added. This allows the Qiskit transpiler to take an input circuit defined in one basis, and output the same circuit rewritten in any other supported gate set. The decomposition between cx, rxx, and global MS gates is shown below.

Decomposition rules between superconducting and trapped ion entangling gates. At bottom, the decomposition of a three-qubit global ms gate into pairwise cx interactions.

2. In order to execute the circuits, the new quantum computing device must be reachable. In Qiskit, this entails writing a ‘provider’ that handles the API connections, authentication, as well as job submission and retrieval between Qiskit and the host backend. The format for this is spelled out in the Qiskit Specification. Once written, a user can write a quantum circuit in Qiskit, and by simply importing the provider, compile it for the devices accessible via that provider. This means that any of the libraries built into Qiskit, be it for quantum applications and algorithms (Aqua), or benchmarking and noise estimation tools (Ignis), can all be developed and applied to multiple quantum computing technologies effortlessly.

IBM is Creating a Quantum Ecosystem With Qiskit and Using Hackathons to Accelerate Learning in the Quantum Community

There are many international Qiskit camps every year.

Qiskit Camp Asia
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Updated Dates: 18–21 November 2019
Venue: A hackathon will take place at Hoshino Resort Risonare Yatsugatake, which is surrounded by Yamanashi Wine country and has views of Mount Fuji.

Qiskit Camp Africa
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Dates: 11­–14 December 2019
Venue: A hackathon will take place at the Kwa Maritane Bush Lodge, which is a wildlife refuge located on the slopes of a 2-billion-year-old volcano in the Pilanesberg National Park

Get Started With a Quantum Coding Series

IBM has a blog post describing how people can build their quantum skills.

There is a series of video tutorials in our YouTube Channel explaining quantum computing through the use of Qiskit.

There is also a Qiskit Textbook.

Chapter 0. Prerequisites
Python and Jupyter Notebooks
Linear Algebra

Chapter 1. Quantum States and Qubits
The Atoms of Computation
The Unique Properties of Qubits
Writing Down Qubit States
Pauli Matrices and the Bloch Sphere
States for Many Qubits

Chapter 2. Single-Qubit and Multi-Qubit Gates
Quantum Gates
Fun with Matrices
The Standard Gate Set
Proving Universality
Basic Circuit Identities

Chapter 3. Quantum Algorithms
Quantum Teleportation
Deutsch-Josza Algorithm
Bernstein-Vazirani Algorithm
Simon’s Algorithm
Quantum Fourier Transform
Quantum Phase Estimation
Grover’s Algorithm

Chapter 4. Quantum Algorithms for Applications
Simulating Molecules using VQE
Solving Satisfiability Problems using Grover’s Algorithm

Chapter 5. Investigating Quantum Hardware Using Qiskit
Calibrating Qubits with OpenPulse
Introduction to Quantum Error Correction using Repetition Codes
Measurement Error Mitigation
Randomized Benchmarking
Measuring Quantum Volume
Chapter 6. Implementations of Recent Quantum Algorithms
Variational Quantum Linear Solver

SOURCES- IBM, Interview with Paul Nation, Qiskit
Written By Brian Wang,