Silq: Much Ado About This Quantum Computing Programming Language

Silq is a new high-level programming language for quantum computers

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+  Quantum computing hardware continues to improve to the point where we may actually see real-world use cases in the next few years and so it’s probably no surprise that we are also seeing a steady increase in research projects that focus on how to best program these machines. One of the newest efforts in this space is Silq, a high-level programming language for quantum computers out of Switzerland’s ETH Zurich.

The emphasis here is on “high-level programming language,” as the researchers behind the language note that existing quantum languages for programmers still work at a very low abstraction level, which makes life for quantum programmers a lot harder than necessary.

+  “The history of the project is that we wanted to solve a core problem in quantum computing,” ETH associate professor of computer science Martin Vechev told me. “And if you want to solve a core problem in quantum computing, for instance, if you want to analyze and reason about quantum programs, you need to have a language in which these problems are expressed — and there are existing languages. We looked at various problems in quantum computing but what kept coming up as a fundamental issue is that we looked at the programs and how they are expressed — and you see that this is not ideal, this is not optimal.”

+  “Originally, we didn’t think we would need to create a new language,” Vechev’s Ph.D. student Benjamin Bichsel added. “And we didn’t even consider this in the very beginning. We wanted to solve much more advanced problems in quantum computing. We thought, okay, let’s quickly pick a language and then work with that. And then we realized that the existing languages are completely inadequate for the kind of more high-level properties that we are interested in reasoning about.”

Source:  TC.  Frederic Lardinois,  Silq is a new high-level programming language for quantum computers…

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