Quantum Science and Technology

Qiskit pulse: Programming quantum computers through the cloud with pulses

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The quantum circuit model is an abstraction that hides the underlying physical implementation of gates and measurements on a quantum computer. For precise control of real quantum hardware, the ability to execute pulse and readout-level instructions is required. To that end, we introduce Qiskit Pulse, a pulse-level programming paradigm implemented as a module within Qiskit-Terra [1]. To demonstrate the capabilities of Qiskit Pulse, we calibrate both un-echoed and echoed variants of the cross-resonance entangling gate with a pair of qubits on an IBM Quantum system accessible through the cloud. We perform Hamiltonian characterization of both single and two-pulse variants of the cross-resonance entangling gate with varying amplitudes on a cloud-based IBM Quantum system. We then transform these calibrated sequences into a high-fidelity CNOT gate by applying pre and post local-rotations to the qubits, achieving average gate fidelities of F = 0.981 and F = 0.979 for the un-echoed and echoed respectively. This is comparable to the standard backend CNOT fidelity of F CX = 0.984. Furthermore, to illustrate how users can access their results at different levels of the readout chain, we build a custom discriminator to investigate qubit readout correlations. Qiskit Pulse allows users to explore advanced control schemes such as optimal control theory, dynamical decoupling, and error mitigation that are not available within the circuit model.