IBM is now beta testing a new version of the IBM Q Experience that provides the ability to run Qiskit using Jupyter notebooks. Previously IBM had only provided Qiskit tutorials that could run on Jupyter notebooks, but the program writing, compiling, and simulation needed to be run on the user’s local machine. This simplifies things for a user because they no longer will need to install Qiskit on their computer using a PIP INSTALL command in Python. It will save time as well as disk space for those users who want to start using the IBM Q Experience quickly. IBM will maintain the ability to install Qiskit on a local computer for those users who do not want to change. Additional changes in the IBM Q Experience include an improved graphical Circuit Composer that lets a user create more complex circuits than ever before.
Jupyter notebooks are quite popular for use in academic work, scientific labs, data analysis, and on-line collaborative programming situations. Since IBM is interested in getting as many users as possible for Qiskit, this move will make it easier for new users to get on-board. IBM has indicated that they already have over 120 thousands users of Qiskit. Microsoft released support for a similar capability in March with a version of their Quantum Development Kit.
The latest release of Qiskit includes the introduction of a Pulse module for building tools for Pulse commands, new transpiler optimization passes to improve efficiency in circuit depth and many other added features and bug fixes. The Aqua library module has also added new implementations for the HHL, Deutsch-Jozsa, Bernstein-Varizani, Simon’s and Shor’s algorithms.
For more details on all the changes in the Q Experience you can find a blog article that describes their next generation quantum development platform here. And for details on the new features in Qiskit, you can read IBM’s release notes here.