Integration Guide#

IQM client is designed to be the Python adapter to IQM’s quantum computers for application-level quantum computing frameworks. For example integrations maintained by IQM, please refer to the Qiskit and Cirq packages.

IQM client offers the functionality to submit circuits to an IQM quantum computer, query a job or a job status, and retrieve the quantum architecture of the quantum computer.

The following sections illustrate how to integrate IQM quantum computers into your quantum computing framework.

Code example#

Initialising the IQM client is simple, and in case you perform authentication as described below, requires only the URL of the IQM quantum computer.

from iqm.iqm_client import IQMClient

server_url = "https://IQM_SERVER_URL"

iqm_client = IQMClient(server_url)

To submit a circuit, the circuit has to be specified in the IQM transfer format.

from iqm.iqm_client import Circuit, Instruction

instructions = (
        name="phased_rx", qubits=("QB1",), args={"phase_t": 0.7, "angle_t": 0.25}
    Instruction(name="cz", qubits=("QB1", "QB2"), args={}),
    Instruction(name="measurement", qubits=("QB2",), args={"key": "Qubit 2"}),

circuit = Circuit(name="quantum_circuit", instructions=instructions)

Then the circuit can be submitted, and its status and result can be queried with the job id.

job_id = iqm_client.submit_circuits([circuit])

job_status = iqm_client.get_run_status(job_id)

job_result = iqm_client.wait_for_results(job_id)

A dict containing arbitrary metadata can be attached to the circuit before submitting it for execution. The attached metadata should consist only of values of JSON serializable datatypes. A utility function util.to_json_dict can be used to convert supported datatypes, e.g. numpy.ndarray, to equivalent JSON serializable types.

The progress of the job can be followed with iqm_client.get_run_status. Once the job is ready, the results can be read with iqm_client.get_run. Both of these actions are combined in iqm_client.wait_for_results which waits until the job is ready and then returns the result.

In addition to the actual results, job result contains also metadata of the job execution. The metadata includes the original request, ID of the calibration set used in the execution, and a collection of timestamps describing the duration of the execution.


IQM uses bearer token authentication to manage access to quantum computers. Currently, there are three mutually exclusive ways of providing an authentication token to IQM client:

1. The recommended way is to use Cortex CLI to manage the authentication tokens and store them into a file. IQM client can then read the token from the file and use it for authentication. The file path can be provided to IQM client in environment variable IQM_TOKENS_FILE. Alternatively, the tokens file path can be provided as argument tokens_file to IQMClient constructor.

2. It is also possible to use plaintext token obtained from a server dashboard. These tokens may have longer lifespan than access tokens generated by Cortex CLI, and thus IQM client won’t attempt to refresh them. The generated token can be provided to IQM client in environment variable IQM_TOKEN. Alternatively, the token can be provided as argument token to IQMClient constructor.

3. The third way is to provide server URL, username and password for obtaining the token from an authentication server. IQM client will maintain a login session with the authentication server and read and refresh the token as needed. The server URL, username and password can be provided to IQM client in environment variables IQM_AUTH_SERVER, IQM_AUTH_USERNAME and IQM_AUTH_PASSWORD. Alternatively, the values can be provided as arguments auth_server_url, username and password to IQMClient constructor. Note, that all the values must be provided as either environment variables or as constructor arguments, not mixed.

Circuit transpilation#

IQM does not provide an open source circuit transpilation library, so this will have to be supplied by the quantum computing framework or a third party library. To obtain the necessary information for circuit transpilation, IQMClient.get_quantum_architecture() returns the names of the qubits, qubit connectivity, and native operations. This information should enable circuit transpilation for IQM quantum architectures.

Note on qubit mapping#

We encourage to transpile circuits to use the physical IQM qubit names before submitting them to IQM quantum computers. In case the quantum computing framework does not allow for this, providing a qubit mapping can do the translation from the framework qubit names to IQM qubit names. Note, that qubit mapping is not supposed to be associated with individual circuits, but rather with the entire job request to IQM server. Typically, you would have some local representation of the QPU and transpile the circuits against that representation, then use qubit mapping along with the generated circuits to map from the local representation to the IQM representation of qubit names. We discourage exposing this feature to end users of the quantum computing framework.

Note on circuit duration#

Before performing circuit execution, IQM server checks how long it would take to run each circuit. If any circuit in a job would take too long to execute compared to the T2 time of the qubits, the server will disqualify the job, not execute any circuits, and return a detailed error message. In some special cases, it makes sense to disable this check by changing the default value of parameter max_circuit_duration_over_t2 of IQMClient.submit_circuits() to 0.0 or by making it large enough for the job to pass the check. If the value is not set at all, the server default value will be used.

Note on environment variables#

Set IQM_CLIENT_REQUESTS_TIMEOUT environment variable to override the network requests default timeout value. The default value is 60 seconds and might not be sufficient when fetching run results of larger circuits via slow network connections.

On Linux:


On Windows:


Once set, this environment variable will control network request timeouts for IQM Client methods abort_job, get_quantum_architecture, get_run, and get_run_status.

Set IQM_CLIENT_SECONDS_BETWEEN_CALLS to control the polling frequency when waiting for compilation and run results with IQM Client methods wait_for_compilation and wait_for_results. The default value is set to 1 second.

Integration testing#

IQM provides a demo environment to test the integration against a mock quantum computer. If you’d like to request access to that environment, please contact IQM.