Standardized quantum software stack

Jan. 01, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2024

The development of quantum algorithms, potentially exponentially faster than classical algorithms, is attracting widespread interest in business and science. So far, however, the ability to implement these algorithms in accessible and user-friendly quantum programming, as known from classical computer science, is missing. Therefore, in the project “Qompiler - Standardized Quantum Software Stack” a software stack with a higher-level quantum programming language is being developed.

The programming language being created in the Qompiler project is intended to go beyond the currently established assembler-like languages and automate many of the small-step elements. The project will also develop a compiler based on the ZX calculus, a categorical description of quantum mechanics. This will enable optimization of the generated quantum circuits and the ideal incorporation of hybrid algorithms.

Via a firmware for an ion-based quantum computer and an interface to the higher software levels, both developed in the Qompiler project, the circuits created and compiled can also be executed on a German quantum computer. At the end of the project, the results, especially the developed interfaces between firmware and compiler, will be transferred into standardization activities.

Fraunhofer FOKUS assumes the overall coordination in the Qompiler project and is responsible for developing the higher-level quantum programming language, which automates complex quantum routines and thus lowers the entry barrier to quantum computer programming. FOKUS supports the project for the development of the firmware, notably the hardware-specific compiler. In addition, the scientists are involved in elaborating a standardizable interface and integrating hybrid algorithms.

Qompiler provides the basis for a lively, open and vendor-independent ecosystem with the developments planned in the project so that the danger of vendor lock-in effects is greatly reduced. FOKUS scientists are also aiming to expand training activities around the topic of quantum computing. By developing the higher-level programming language in combination with adapted training courses, the entry barrier can thus be significantly lowered, faster learning success achieved, and thus easier access to quantum computing resources made possible, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.

In addition to Fraunhofer FOKUS, eleQtron GmbH, University of Siegen, TU Berlin and the German Institute for Standardization e. V. are also involved in the project. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK).