Quantum software tool is now open source

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Cambridge Quantum recently announced that it has made the source code for TKET, its quantum software development kit, fully open to the quantum software community.

The move, which comes just months after the company began providing free access to TKET, should benefit software developers as well as Honeywell Quantum Solutions and other hardware vendors.

Most available quantum programming languages ​​or software development kits were originally designed to work on certain hardware platforms, creating compatibility issues. Software developers who wanted to test circuits or algorithms on different quantum technologies had to rewrite or modify the code to run on a new system.

Providing access to TKET and its source code makes it easier for developers.

“Users should only focus on developing their quantum applications, not rewriting code around the idiosyncrasies of particular hardware,” said Cambridge Quantum software manager Dr Ross Duncan.

And for Honeywell Quantum Solutions and other hardware vendors, TKET expands access to their technologies by allowing developers to switch more easily between systems. The SDK is optimized for every commercial hardware system, including Honeywell’s Trapped Ion Quantum Computer.

“We want the quantum software community to be able to run circuits and algorithms on our trapped ion quantum computers as easily as possible,” said Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions. “System Model H1 technology is the highest performing quantum system available, and we want them to experience it.”

Honeywell Quantum Solutions and Cambridge Quantum have a long history of partnering for the benefit of end customers. (The two entities announced in June that they were seeking regulatory approval to combine to form a new company.)

The fact that TKET is completely open source provides an incredible tool for quantum algorithm developers around the world, including Honeywell, Uttley said.

“Our products and offerings have always been complementary and continue to be so,” he said. “(Cambridge Quantum) has developed a suite of tools and programs that interface well with our hardware.”

If you’ve ever traveled to another country and tried to plug something in, you’ve probably discovered the need for an adapter. Electrical outlets vary and plug-ins used in the United States may not always work in Europe or other countries and vice versa.

The same is true with today’s first quantum computers. Each technology has its own performance specifications, its API (an interface that allows different computer systems to communicate with each other) and its compiler (a program that translates code written in one computer language to another).

TKET is versatile. Developers can use it to create circuits or algorithms and also to serve as a universal connector or adapter between hardware and software platforms.

Cambridge Quantum has developed extensions, which are Python modules, for every commercial quantum hardware platform available. These extensions allow developers to code in Qiskit, Cirq or another language and automatically adapt their circuits or algorithms to work on different devices or quantum simulators without having to modify it themselves.

And now that TKET is open source, developers can create their own codebase extensions and bridge platforms.

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