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IBM creates significant competitive advantages with Qiskit Runtime updates

By Sandra Helsel posted 09 May 2022

(Forbes) Paul Smith-Goodson discusses IBM’s recently announced updates to Qiskit Runtime in his article summarized below by IQT-News. Qiskit users will want to review the article in-depth.

Qiskit Runtime is equipped with two new primitives as part of its service. Primitives are predefined programs that make it easy to create quantum-classical workloads needed to build and customize applications.
IBM has also added a much-needed third pay-as-you-go consumption pricing option for access to IBM cloud service and its 27-qubit Falcon processors. The cost of the new pricing option is $1.60 for each second of Qiskit Runtime use. That makes it an ideal plan with manageable costs for startups, small businesses, and lightly funded university programs.
The new Qiskit Runtime updates, new pricing options, and the addition of primitives create significant competitive advantages for IBM.

IBM is Diamond Sponsor of IQT-San Diego “The World’s Quantum Enterprise” event May 10-12, 2022

Qiskit Runtime established two new quantum computing paradigms:
–It was the first application to use containers in the quantum cloud to increase programming efficiency and speed. Containers are executable software packages that make applications more portable by carrying application code and necessary libraries and dependencies.
–IBM changed its infrastructure and architecture to collocate quantum and classical computers to reduce hybrid computing latency for algorithms

Without automation, setting up an algorithm and running it is a complicated and lengthy process. IBM has greatly simplified this process. In the Qiskit Runtime execution environment, the IBM hybrid cloud handles much of the work using its software architecture and containers.
The first two primitives in Qiskit Runtime – Sampler and Estimator – optimize how code is sent to a quantum computer. By sampling quantum circuits, Sampler generates outputs that help determine a solution to the computation. Estimator is a program interface that estimates expected values of quantum operators so that users can calculate and interpret quantum operator expected values needed for many algorithms.
Qiskit Runtime improvements created a 100x speedup in iterative circuit execution workloads. Depending on the problem, computations that took a month can now be solved in days or hours by Qiskit Runtime. But as good as this seems, according to IBM, Qiskit Runtime will eventually be able to run 200,000 times faster than it does now.


Sandra K. Helsel, Ph.D. has been researching and reporting on frontier technologies since 1990.  She has her Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.


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