Rethinking quantum systems for faster, more efficient computation
+ Our team is embarking on a journey toward dramatically more efficient execution of quantum workloads. Real workloads require interactions between quantum and classical processors. This is neither surprising nor a novel statement, as even “traditional” quantum algorithms like Shor’s algorithm have this structure. However, the advent of near-term applications, such as variational methods, has elevated the importance of efficient execution of jobs with this interactive structure in its inner loop.
+ As we looked closer at the kinds of jobs our systems execute, we noticed a richer structure of quantum-classical interactions including multiple domains of latency. These domains include real-time computation, where calculations must complete within the coherence time of the qubits, and near-time computation, which tolerates larger latency but which should be more generic. The constraints of these two domains are sufficiently different that they demand distinct solutions.
+ We’re re-thinking the hardware and software architecture of IBM Quantum systems to efficiently handle jobs containing both near-time and real-time elements. For the near-time domain we are exploring concepts for a new runtime that would allow for program execution on classical resources co-located with our quantum hardware. This model removes trips between the user’s computer and the quantum hardware for interactive programs, offering significant speed advantages.
The net result of the solutions we are developing for near-time and real-time computation will be dramatically more efficient execution of workloads on IBM Quantum systems, allowing us to execute in hours some tasks that previously took days.
We hope that these advances will allow us to make quantum computation truly frictionless, where developers can seamlessly take advantage of a quantum systems power without having to worry about the intricacies of the hardware they’re programming on.
We invite you to join us by running circuits on our quantum systems either by signing up for the open systems here or by joining the IBM Q Network to use our advance quantum systems.
+ These programs will be re-usable, allowing people to invoke them many times with different input parameters. We will have more to say about this runtime as we refine our ideas through several iterations of prototypes, but they will define what we are calling a quantum node, which will be the core of future quantum systems showing that a quantum system comprises of quantum processors, software and hardware control stack, and classical computation resources.
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