There are a number of quantum programming platforms available and it would be interesting to get a sense of the relative popularity of these. Fortunately, there is a website at pypistats.org that does track installations of software libraries based upon Python. This website does contain statistics on all the major quantum platforms that use the Python language and might provide us with a relative indication of the popularity of the different platforms. We can’t say that the statistics here are fully accurate since several of the platforms can be used online without requiring an installation of the software on one’s local system. There can also be cases where someone installs different revisions of a software library so it that be counted multiple times and probably several other cases that may cause some discrepancies. But we think these issues may not be significant enough to change the overall picture.

Nonetheless, we used this tool and collected the statistics for the major platforms as shown below. We should point out that many of these platforms have what we would consider a main library and several optional library that can be added on. For example, besides IBM’s main library of Qiskit there also exists many other specialized add-ons such as qiskit-finance, qiskit-machine-learning, qiskit-nature, support for other hardware backends, and many others. For the purposes of the table below, we are only showing the statistics for the main library of each platform and the number of downloads reflects the 30 day period ending on June 18, 2021.

ProviderPlatform NameDownloads Last Month
IBMqiskit         88,881
Rigettipyquil         33,010
Googlecirq         25,220
D-Wavedwave-system         10,519
Amazonamazon-braket-sdk          6,279
Xanadupennylane           5,372
CQCpytket           4,306
ETH Zurich and othersprojectq           1,372

Of course, a major platform that this website could not track would be the Microsoft Quantum Development Kit (QDK) since that is based upon Microsoft’s own quantum language called Q#. So we can’t make an apples-to-apples comparison. However, Microsoft does have a Python module called qsharp which allows Q# libraries to interact with Python and allows Python programmers to utilize the QDK. The statistics show that this module was installed 1351 times in the past month, but we think this would still only reflect a small portion of the overall QDK user base.

June 19, 2021