IonQ, the confined ion quantum computer company that recently went public through a SPAC, announced today that it is integrating its quantum computing platform into the open source software development kit Qiskit. This means that Qiskit users can now bring their programs to the IonQ platform without major changes to their code.
At first glance, this seems relatively unremarkable, but it’s worth noting that Qiskit was founded by IBM Research and is IBM’s standard tool for working with its quantum computers. There is healthy competition between IBM and IonQ (and, to be fair, many others in this area), also because both rely on very different technologies at the core of their platforms. While IonQ relies on trapped ions, which means that its machines can run at room temperature, the machine must be supercooled according to the IBM technology.
IonQ has now released a new provider library for Qiskit, which is available as part of the Qiskit partner repository on GitHub and via the Python package index.
“IonQ is excited to make our quantum computers and APIs easily accessible to the Qiskit community,” said Peter Chapman, CEO and President of IonQ. “Open source has already revolutionized traditional software development. With this integration, we are bringing the world one step closer to the first generation of widespread quantum applications. “
On the one hand, it’s difficult not to think of this as IonQ, which IBM’s needling a little, but it’s also an affirmation that Qiskit has become a standard for developers looking to work with quantum computers. Aside from these rivalries, we are also in the early days of the quantum computer and do not yet have a clear market leader. Anything that makes these different platforms more interoperable is a win for developers who want to put their feet in writing for them.