Intel Releases Quantum SDK
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Monday, 06 March 2023

Intel has released a Quantum Software Development Kit (SDK) that is a simulation of a full quantum computer. The SDK can also interface with Intel’s quantum hardware, including the Horse Ridge II control chip and Intel’s quantum spin qubit chip when it becomes available this year.

The kit is designed to let developers program quantum algorithms in simulation. It has a C++ programming interface based on a low-level virtual machine (LLVM) compiler toolchain.


The kit has a quantum runtime environment that's been optimized for executing hybrid quantum-classical algorithms. Developers have the choice of two target backends for simulating qubits to either represent a higher number of generic qubits or Intel hardware.

intel's full stack approach to quantum

The first backend is Intel Quantum Simulator (IQS), which Intel describes as a high-performance open-source generic qubit simulator with a backend capable of 32 qubits on a single node and over 40 qubits on multiple nodes. The second option is a target backend that simulates Intel quantum dot qubit hardware and can be used for compact model simulation of Intel silicon spin qubits, which Intel describes as using the company’s expertise in silicon transistor manufacturing to build a large-scale quantum computer.

With the SDK, users can develop small workloads to find out how to use the quantum computer’s system architecture to run algorithms efficiently and accurately on qubits. Intel is also using the SDK internally to co-design quantum hardware and software in tandem.

The compiler extensions allow developers to integrate results from quantum algorithms into their C++ project, which Intel says

"opens the door to the feedback loops needed for hybrid quantum-classical algorithms like the quantum approximate optimization algorithm (QAOA) and quantum variational eigen-solver (VQE)."

Intel is also funding curricula at universities to encourage developers who have explored quantum computing. Universities will develop and share quantum course curricula to proliferate the use of the Intel Quantum SDK. Universities that have already received Intel grants include The Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Deggendorf Institute of Technology and Keio University in Japan.

The Intel Quantum SDK 1.0 is available now on the OneAPI Intel Dev Cloud.


More Information

OneAPI Intel Dev Cloud

Intel’s quantum computing backgrounder

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