Intel Quantum SDK Diagram. Credit: Intel

Intel had previously described their quantum SDK at various technical conferences including APS and IEEE Week. It is based upon the C++ programming language and uses the LLVM intermediate level description from classical computing as a base. It is optimized to work with hybrid classical/quantum variational algorithms and will work with other components of Intel’s quantum stack including Intel’s high performance quantum simulators and, eventually, Intel’s spin-qubit based quantum processor. The SDK is currently available in a beta version and the company expects to release a version 1.0 in Q1 2023. Although the software cannot currently interface with other quantum SDK’s such as Qiskit, Cirq, TKET or others, the company is working on software that will allow a user to import programs developed with these other tools into the Intel SDK and expects to have this functionality ready for the 1.0 release. You can view a brief announcement of the SDK beta test available here, a background piece about the SDK here, and a technical paper posted on arXiv that describes it in more detail here.

Associated with this development, Intel is now providing funding to universities wishing to develop curricula using this SDK so that students can start developing applications with it. The first set of universities that Intel has announced participating in this program include Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Pennsylvania, Deggendorf Institute of Technology in Germany, and Keio University in Japan.

James Clarke, Director of Quantum Hardware at Intel Labs, recently wrote an article providing Intel’s view of quantum technology. In it he says “quantum practicality is likely still 10 to 15 years away”. However, he went on to say that progress is accelerating but that a lot of technical challenges still remain. So quantum development efforts still need to have continued funding for the long term. But Clarke also indicated that Intel expects to be competitive (or pull ahead) of others over the long term. You can view this article posted on the IEEE website during the IEEE Quantum Week here.

September 28, 2022