Baidu, the company behind the namesake search engine, has announced its first quantum computing processor, named Qianshias well as an “all-platform” integration solution aimed at simplifying access to quantum hardware resources via mobile, desktop and cloud.
Qianshi, which means “the origin of all things is in the heavens” in Chinese, provides 10 high-fidelity qubits. Although it may not be the most powerful quantum hardware available, Baidu claims to have completed the design of a 36-qubit superconducting quantum chip with couplers.
The most interesting, Qianshi comes with a comprehensive software stack, which Baidu calls “all-platform quantum hardware-software integration solution”, which provides a set of services for private deployment, cloud services and hardware access. This solution, called Liang Xi, aims to be compatible with heterogeneous quantum hardware, including a 10-qubit superconducting quantum device and a trapped-ion quantum device developed by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. To complete the idea of ”all platforms”, says Baidu Liang Xi can be used through mobile and desktop applications, as well as the Cloud.
With Qian Shi and Liang Xi, users can now create quantum algorithms and utilize quantum computing power without developing their quantum hardware, control systems, or programming languages.
Baidu’s quantum software stack includes Quanlse, a cloud-based platform for quantum control, Paddle Quantum, a quantum machine learning platform, Quantum Leaf, a quantum computing platform, and others.
Quanlse supports arbitrary one- and two-qubit pulse generation and gate scheduling. It can be used to model real superconducting quantum chips and to simulate noisy quantum devices. It also supports error analysis to help characterize and mitigate errors.
Quantum Leaf can be used to program, simulate and run quantum computers. It provides the quantum programming environment for quantum infrastructure as a service (QaaS).
Paddle Quantum helps connect Quantum Leaf to machine learning and can be used for a number of popular quantum machine learning topics, including combinatorial optimization, local operations, and classical communication.
With Qian Shi and Liang Xi’s announcement, Baidu is entering the arena of quantum solutions that researchers and companies can use to experiment with quantum algorithms. Other players in the same field are IBM, with its IBM Quantum, Microsoft, with Azure Quantum, Google, with Quantum AI, D-Wave, and others.