Sandia National Laboratories’s QSCOUT provides scientists free and complete access to the only open quantum computing testbed based on trapped ions in the world. It gives the scientific community a new level of programming control and execution for improving quantum computer science.
Quantum information processing has reached an inflection point transitioning from proof-of-principle scientific experiments to small, noisy quantum processors. To accelerate this process and eventually move to fault-tolerant quantum computing, it is necessary to provide scientists with access to “whitebox” testbed systems. QSCOUT provides them unique access to an innovative system to help advance quantum computing science. Quantum operations are based on “gates,” which manipulate the states of the quantum objects and can be performed in a variety of ways. QSCOUT allows low-level access to the gate implementations themselves via the licensed firmware Octet, which allows users to test how different types of gates impact system performance. Additionally, by using the quantum programming language Jaqal (Just another quantum assembly language), users can now precisely specify the timing of gates to study how new ways of gate scheduling might improve performance.