Cirq is an open sourced Python library for writing, manipulating, and optimizing quantum circuits and running them against quantum computers and simulators. A primary goal of this framework is to provide good support for NISQ (Noisy Intermediate Scale Quantum) processors, such as Bristlecone, which Google plans to make available on the cloud in the future. Cirq will also be able to easily integrate with other quantum hardware and larger simulators as they become available.
Cirq enables researchers to write quantum algorithms for specific quantum processors. Cirq gives users fine-tuned control over quantum circuits, specifying gate behavior using native gates, placing these gates appropriately on the device, and scheduling the timing of these gates within the constraints of the quantum hardware.
In association with this announcement, the Google AI Quantum team also announced a release of OpenFermion-Cirq which is compiles quantum chemistry simulation algorithms to Cirq. Google had previously announced OpenFermion as an open source library for compiling and analyzing quantum algorithms to simulate fermionic systems, including quantum chemistry. Previously OpenFermion supported the ProjectQ, Rigetti Forest, and Xanadu Strawberry Fields platforms.
Google is also working with several software partners who are developing interfaces between their software and Cirq. Some of these partners are also members of the IBM Q Network and to show who is working with whom, we prepared this table.
There were several blog articles, press releases, and GitHub uploads associated with this announcement. You can click on the links below to find more details.
Press Releases and Slides
Software on GitHub