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In May 2018, we are organizing the 48th IEEE International Symposium on Multiple-Valued Logic in Linz. Find out more at this page!


Johannes Kepler University Linz
Integrated Circuit and System Design
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Robert Wille
Altenberger Straße 69 | SCP3 0405
4040 Linz | Austria
Tel: +43 732 2468 4739

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Mapping to the IBM QX Architectures

In March 2017, IBM launched the project IBM Q with the goal to provide access to quantum computers for a broad audience. This allowed users to conduct quantum experiments on 5-qubit and, since June 2017, also on 16-qubit quantum computers. In order to use these, the desired quantum functionality (e.g. provided in terms of a quantum circuit) has to properly be mapped so that the underlying physical constraints are satisfied – a complex task. This demands for solutions to automatically and efficiently conduct this mapping process. Here, we propose such an approach which satisfies all constraints given by the architecture and, at the same time, aims to keep the overhead in terms of additionally required quantum gates minimal. The proposed approach is generic and can easily be configured for future architectures. Experimental evaluations show that the proposed approach clearly outperforms IBM’s own mapping solution. In fact, for many quantum circuits, the proposed approach determines a mapping to the IBM architecture within less than five minutes (and within a fraction of a second in most cases), while IBM’s solution suffers from long runtimes and runs into a timeout of 1 hour in several cases. As an additional benefit, the proposed approach yields mapped circuits with smaller costs (i.e. fewer additional gates are required).

The implementation (including a README with instructions as well as corresponding test-files) can be downloaded by clicking on this link (1.4 KB). Note that this implementation contains only one certain aspect of the mapping procedure, namely satisfying the architectural constraints. The implementation takes a circuit in the OpenQASM 2.0 language which is already decomposed into elementary operations. The resulting circuit can then be executed on the IBM QX5 architecture. Our implementation does not perform post mapping optimization (as done e.g. in IBM's Python SDK). However, this can easily be conducted by passing the resulting circuit to IBM's SDK. In the future, we plan to directly incorporate the mapping algorithm into IBM's Python SDK.

Details of the approach are summarized in the paper entitled "Efficient Mapping of Quantum Circuits to the IBM QX Architectures".

In case of questions/problems, please contact us through alwin.zulehner(/\t), alexandru.paler(/\t), and robert.wille(/\t)

If you use out mapping algorithm for your research, we would be thankful if you referred to it by citing the following publication:

title={Efficient Mapping of Quantum Circuits to the IBM QX Architectures},
author={Zulehner, Alwin and Paler, Alexandru and Wille, Robert},
journal={Design Automation and Test in Europe},