AWS Quantum Technologies Blog

Amazon Braket launches OpenQASM support

Last year, we announced that AWS had joined the OpenQASM Technical Steering Committee to help shape a unified approach to express quantum programs across a variety of different hardware technologies. Today, we are excited to announce that customers can now run OpenQASM programs on all gate-based devices on Amazon Braket.

Quantum computing is a nascent field and the technology is moving at a fast pace. There are multiple competing and often complementary qubit technologies, including superconducting circuits, trapped ion systems, and photonic quantum computers. Customers can choose from a range of open source end-user libraries for different use cases, and startups are developing domain-specific interfaces, for applications, such as computational chemistry. But no matter what your use case is, which library you choose, and which hardware you run on, at some point you will need to send a set of instructions, the quantum program, to a quantum processing unit (QPU) for execution.

For gate-based QPUs, these quantum programs are remarkably consistent in the type of operations and controls they use. Even at the pulse level, where gates are translated into the analog instructions to control individual qubits, common abstractions can be used across different technologies. For instance, the microwave controls of superconducting-qubit based QPUs and the laser sources that are used to control individual qubits in a trapped ion-based quantum computer can be programmed using the same abstractions despite representing very different physical systems. While the different hardware technologies have unique properties and capabilities, the way to express a quantum program is the same. Customers, in particular startups developing quantum software, tell us that the competing specifications that exist today for this intermediate representation (IR) require unnecessary translation layers in their stack to express the same programs on different platforms.

The OpenQASM IR is designed to provide a unifying layer, connecting a multitude of end-user libraries to different hardware technologies. This is aligned with our vision for Amazon Braket, to provide a one-stop shop for many different quantum computing systems, enabling customers to compare and contrast different technologies with the same user experience and interface. To expand the interoperability of Amazon Braket, customers can now run openQASM programs on all gate-based devices on Braket. By working with the OpenQASM community, we aim to help establish a unified specification across different technologies in the industry.

With OpenQASM on Amazon Braket, customers can build and experiment confidently, knowing that their applications are portable and future-proof as we continue to expand the range of available hardware technologies, and introduce new capabilities and lower level QPU controls. You can also take advantage of existing open source libraries that are already integrated with OpenQASM, and use them with the QPUs on Amazon Braket. We hope that this launch will benefit the industry as a whole, enabling a broad community of open source developers and startups to build software across different technologies and platforms.

As we say at Amazon, it is still Day 1 in quantum computing, and there is much to learn as technologies mature and new ideas emerge. We hope that many of you will join us on this journey to make OpenQASM a unified IR for gate-based quantum computing. To get started with OpenQASM on Amazon Braket, and the supported grammar with this release, you can read the documentation and follow this example notebook that also comes pre-installed on Amazon Braket notebooks. We encourage everyone who would like to contribute to the project to look at the OpenQASM 3.0 spec and the GitHub repo, and dive in.