(IBM.quantum.blog) With IBM’s newest, freely available device, ibmq_armonk, IBM has taken one more step toward bringing the lab to the cloud. ibmq_armonk features pulse-level control, and when coupled with today’s release of the new version of Qiskit (version 0.14), any IBM Quantum Experience user now has the ability to construct schedules of pulses and execute them. The role of experimental quantum physicist is now available to anyone with internet access. Before this access, certain research activities have always been limited to a handful of labs, and to a handful of researchers
What exactly does pulse-level control mean? With pulses, a user can dig deep into the heart of a quantum device and study the system as if you were physically present in the lab. Quantum computers are controlled with ultra-precise pulses that stimulate the qubits and manipulate their state. Developing and calibrating these pulses is an active area of research that was previously only possible inside a lab with “hands on the hardware.” The pulse module in Qiskit extends this capability to anyone through the IBM Quantum Experience. Users are able to directly control the implementation of gates and measurements, which are the building blocks of quantum circuits. This in turn allows users to improve the execution of their quantum programs and applications. This is the first step in our plan to give users full control over our quantum systems.