Cambridge Quantum Computing’s TKET is now available for developers to use for free. The quantum software development platform translates algorithms into executable circuits and runs on multiple platforms. IBM’s Qiskit and Microsoft’s Quantum Development Kit for Q# are also open-source tools for quantum developers.
Ilyas Khan, CEO of Cambridge Quantum said in a press release that this fulfills the company’s earlier pledge to make the software development kit available on an open-access basis earlier this year.
“TKET creates a constituency of educated developers who can, in a year or two or three, be the people employed by corporations to use the computers that then exist,” he said.
Dr. Ross Duncan, head of software at CQ, said in a press release that minimising gate count and execution time are important in this Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum (NISQ) era.
“TKET combines high-level hardware-agnostic optimisation for quantum circuits with target specific compilation passes for the chosen quantum device,” he said. “This helps quantum computing users move seamlessly between quantum platforms, while maintaining consistent high performance.”
This means that users need only to focus on developing their quantum applications, not rewriting code around the requirements of any particular hardware, according to Duncan.
Khan said that TKET is everything an OS would be if you could have one for quantum computers. CQ’s progress with TKET was one of the motivations for the merger with Honeywell’s quantum computing division.
“Honeywell’s quantum computing is the only computer that is possessed of all of the ingredients and components that allow an OS to become a reality,” he said.
Honeywell also was an early investor in Cambridge Quantum and a customer as well.
“It’s amazing and wonderful when you have a client and shareholder because they really know what we can and can’t do,” he said. “We were also beta users of their machine and we know it better than any other entity, government or corporate.”
Another dynamic in the launch of the new company is that both groups are science led but enterprise driven, Khan said.
“We only do things that are solving a customer problem,” he said.
Honeywell has achieved significant increases in all the metrics that matter from quantum volume to gate fidelities and quantum numbers, Khan said.
“If all of the things that we say will happen, do happen, and if you look at the other roadmaps, Honeywell CQ will continue to be the leader for some considerable time,” he said.
Quantum and steel production and cybersecurity
QC recently reported an advancement in its quantum work with Nippon Steel. This time the focus was quantum chemistry. The goal was to simulate the behavior of iron crystals in two configurations. Cambridge Quantum and scientists at Nippon Steel used an IBM quantum processor with seven qubits and algorithms written by CQ to run the simulation. The research paper about the project has not been peer-reviewed yet. Earlier this year, Nippon Steel collaborated with Cambridge Quantum Computing and Honeywell to develop an optimal schedule for enhancing efficiencies in the steel manufacturing process. The companies developed an algorithm and tested it on Honeywell’s quantum System Model H1.
In August, the company and its partners Inter-American Development Bank and Tecnológico de Monterrey announced that they have identified and resolved potential threats to blockchain networks posed by quantum computing. The project team developed a cryptographic layer that allows blockchain networks to protect themselves from this new generation of computing power.
Khan said this is a significant milestone for cybersecurity and quantum computing.
“Quantum computing today need not advance one inch for us to generate keys that are unhackable,” he said.
Khan sees quantum roadmaps as a way to keep companies honest.
“We want people to understand what we’ve said and check our progress against that rather than make weird statements about quantum volume and then disappear for a year,” he said.