What does the IBM-Q mean for researchers?

If you work on quantum computing, quantum simulation or related areas, and have experience with the IBM-Q platform, you will get high-priority access to CSIC and UAM’s slot in IBM’s 20-qubit quantum computers and its 32-qubit quantum simulator. This access works both with a web interface, as well as with a Python based library, called Qiskit.

If you are curious about the IBM-Q system, how to program quantum computers and how this can be integrated into your research line, you will also be provided with the same tools, documentation and plenty of opportunities for training. You will also have access to our 20 qubit setup and quantum simulation platform, but priority will be reduced (although in practice this has never been a problem).

CSIC / IBM-Q Questions
IBM Quantum Experience Circuit composer with a simple algorithm to create a GHZ state.

How to get started

We recommend the following steps

  1. Get an IBM-Q account as explained below.
  2. Become familiar with quantum computing, how it works, the basic operations, the algorithms. IBM-Q provides a pretty good introduction.
  3. Experiment with the web interface in the 5-qubit and 16-qubit devices, learning the use of elementary gates, measurements and composing some basic algorithms. The documentation for this interface is available.
  4. Learn to program Python. There are very decent courses and tutorials available everywhere.
  5. Use the Qiskit tutorials to learn how to program those quantum computers using Python. These tutorials can be edited and run from IBM’s Quantum Experience.
  6. Write your own Jupyter notebooks also in the Quantum Experience using the built-in editor.
  7. Learn how to install Anaconda and Qiskit and create your own notebooks in your computer using remote access.
  8. Request access to high-tier slots at the larger quantum computer (20 qubits).
CSIC / IBM-Q Questions
Qiskit is a Python library for programming quantum algorithms and running them in either a quantum computer or a quantum simulator. Qiskit is open source and available for public use.

How do I get an IBM-Q account?

Anybody can get an IBM-Q account. You just need to register at the IBM Quantum Experience using your email and personal information. This gives you access to the IBM 5 qubit and 16 qubit computers, the web experience and some documentation.

How do I get access to the top-tier platforms?

If you followed the registration process, you must have an IBMid (IBM identifier) linked to an institutional email from CSIC, UAM or any associated entity. If this is the case you can request additional access to the 20 qubit quantum computer and the cloud-based 32-qubit quantum simulator.

We ask you to fill one form, including all researchers from a group, department or institute that want to get access. You have to provide the emails of all users and we request that you provide a motivation for your use, as well as a description of previous experience.

How do I get support?

If you have a general question around IBM-Q, the web environment or how to program using Qiskit, you should use the official Slack channel, as explained here. If you have an active account, requested access but have trouble with your specific access to the IBM 20 qubit computer as provided via this agreement, please get in touch.

I do not belong to CSIC or UAM. Can I participate?

The agreement only covers CSIC’s and Universidad Autonoma de Madrid’s researchers, both staff and students. Researchers are not allowed to resell access or share accounts with third parties in any way. We are currently working with IBM to design a procedure and conditions to include other partnering institutions and companies. Please get in touch if you are interested.