We had reported in January on an announcement by Quantum Computing Inc. (QCI) of their Mukai software product which can be used to create applications to solve complex optimization problems. At the time, the software was designed to run on classical computers with a future capability to be run on real quantum computers at a later date.
Now, QCI has announced Mukai support for four cloud-based quantum computers including IonQ, Rigetti, and D-Wave through Amazon Web Services Braket capability and also IBM through their IBM-Q network. Mukai not only serves as a software development platform it can also serve as an execution platform to provide simplified access to the cloud quantum computers for its users. QCI has also indicated they are intending on expanding their support to additional cloud-based quantum computers as they become available.
Although the quantum computers available today may not be able to outperform current classical computers, the anticipation is that with the rapid advances we are now seeing, they will be able to provide quantum advantage for some use cases in the not too distant future. So it is important now to prototype applications on actual hardware in order to characterize the different approaches and learn how to best utilize them.
QCI’s goal is to be hardware agnostic. An application can be configured at a high level in Mukai and the appropriate backends in the software will configure and optimize the actual program for the individual quantum processor. The approach will allow a subject matter expert at an end user to specify their problem and run it on a classical processor or different quantum processors by only changing one line of code to see which one is best. An interesting feature of the Mukai software is that they can not only switch back and forth between different gate-based machines, but they can also switch between the D-Wave quantum annealer and various gate-based machines. This is more of a challenge since the quantum annealers use a much different architecture and programming concepts from the gate-based machines.
QCI will continue to work to expand the capabilities of Mukai to support additional processors and even larger optimization problems. For additional details, you can view the news release on the QCI web site here.
August 27, 2020