back to article Could we use an LLVM-based cross-compiler to build apps for quantum computers? This alliance says yes

The Linux Foundation has launched a group called the QIR Alliance to make quantum computing applications more portable across hardware architectures and simulators. The QIR in QIR Alliance stands for Quantum Intermediate Representation, which may not mean much to those unfamiliar with "intermediate representation" in the …

  1. karlkarl Silver badge

    Will be very interesting to see an ANSI C99 compiler ported so simple programmers such as myself can get involved. Of course I am sure the abstractions provided by C will be counter-intuitive to how a quantum processor actually works but probably everyone will keep using C anyway ;)

    Microsoft's QSharp sounds fancy but its main downfall is that it isn't able to consume C directly so I am sure quantum programmers of the future will have to spend their time writing sodding bindings just like all the CSharp.NET programmers do today!

  2. Howard Sway Silver badge

    H(qb1);

    Just what we need : a really CLEAR example so we can all get the gist of it.

    So, as per usual, I followed the link to seek an explanation and discovered that this is an example of "1-qubit Cliffords like the Hadamard gate (H)".

    Quantum Cliff might like it (or might not), but I can venture no opinion, as the assumption that I have any idea what it is is way too presumptious for any curious beginner. But I can say right now that if you're thinking of using single letter function names, and abbreviations for everything else, then quantum entanglement is going to get a new meaning of trying unsuccessfully to decipher what your rotten code is trying to do.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: H(qb1);

      a 'hello world' example might have been more helpful

      That, and NOT using single char function names.

  3. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I'm impressed that they are developing a compiler for technology which might never exist. So, what colour shall we paint the first fusion power station?

    1. druck Silver badge
      Coat

      You can use any cross-compiler for quantum, as they'll all make you cross when it doesn't work.

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Angel

      FaaS

      I'll wait for Fusion as a Service.

  4. sreynolds

    Wishful thinking....

    Might as well start using functions called Oracle0 and Oracle1. It's a nice abstraction for imaginary hardware.

  5. harmjschoonhoven
    Boffin

    It would get interesting if

    a QC could be used to solve real QM problems, like calculating an optical spectrum from first principes.

    At Uni many years ago I followed a lecture course on theoretical spectroscopy. We started with about 15 students in september and by Christmas that number had dropped to about four .... And that only concerned the hydrogen atom.

    1. CrackedNoggin Bronze badge

      Re: It would get interesting if

      Optical Spectrum Calculation Final Examination, Fall Term, December, 2121.

      You may NOT use your personal QC to help you in the exam. Cheaters will be deterministically collapsed.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Premature whatever

    Here's a program for part of a baby prime factoring QC algorithm:

    https://qiskit.org/textbook/ch-algorithms/shor.html#3.-Qiskit-Implementation

    which is not QIR. I would just like to see that (or an even simpler example) implemented in any way possible on any actual quantum computer. That should be a landmark to use for reference. Much more useful as a metric than the 1000 in IBM's upcoming 1000 qbits, a 1000 which still means nothing if it can't solve a definite baby factoring problem, which is the current target usage.

    Could QIR be useful today as a theoretical mathematical tool, something like a Turing machine description? - but I thought we already had that for QR |0>. <=quantum emoji.

    Note that no actual deterministic computer implementation resembles a Turing machines much at all, although all deterministic computer implementations are bound to the same behavioral rules that Turing machines are.

    So the question is - as far as implementation goes - is QIR premature specialization? We don't know what we don't know yet.

    1. Ken Shabby
      Mushroom

      Re: Premature whatever

      If you write a bug, does the cat die?

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