Running IonQ API Jobs

Here we detail how to run jobs on the IonQ API against the IonQ QPU and the IonQ simulator.

In this section we assume a cirq.ionq.Service object has been instantiated and is called service and cirq and cirq.ionq have been imported:

import cirq
import cirq.ionq as ionq
service = ionq.Service()

See IonQ API Service for how to set up the service.

Running programs

The IonQ API is a service that allows you to send a quantum circuit as a job to a scheduler server. This means that you can submit a job to the API, and then this job is held in a queue before being scheduled to run on the appropriate hardware (QPU) or simulator. Once a job is created (but not necessarily yet run) on the scheduler, the job is assigned an id and then you can query this job via the API. The job has a status on it, which describes what state the job is in running, completed, failed, etc. From a users perspective, this is abstracted mostly away in Cirq. A job can be run in either block modes, or non-blocking mode, as described below.

Here we describe these different methods.

Via Run

The first method for running is to do so via the run method on cirq.ionq.Service.

qubit = cirq.LineQubit(0)
circuit = cirq.Circuit(
    cirq.X(qubit)**0.5,            # Square root of NOT.
    cirq.measure(qubit, key='x')   # Measurement store in key 'x'
)

result = service.run(circuit=circuit, repetitions=100, target='qpu')
print(result)

Which results in

x=0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111

Looking at these results you should notice something strange. What are the odds that the x measurements were all 0s followed by all 1s? The reason for this sorting is that the IonQAPI only returns statistics about the results, i.e. what count of results were 0 and what count were 1 (or if you are measuring multiple qubits the counts of the different outcome bit string outcomes). In order to make this compatible with Cirq's notion of cirq.Result, these are then converted into raw results with the exactly correct number of results (in lexical order). In other words, the measurement results are not in an order corresponding to the temporal order of the measurements.

When calling run, you will need to include the number of repetitions or shots for the given circuit. In addition, if there is no default_target set on the service, then a target needs to be specified. Currently the supported targets are qpu and simulator.

Via a sampler

Another method to get results from the IonQ API is to use a sampler. A sampler is specifically design to be a lightweight interface for obtaining results in a pandas dataframe and is the interface used by other classes in Cirq for objects that process data. Here is a simple example showing how to get a sampler and use it.

qubit = cirq.LineQubit(0)
circuit = cirq.Circuit(
    cirq.X(qubit)**0.5,            # Square root of NOT.
    cirq.measure(qubit, key='x')   # Measurement store in key 'x'
)
sampler = service.sampler(target='qpu')
result = sampler.run(program=circuit, repetitions=100)
print(result)

Via create job

The above two methods, using run and the sampler, both block waiting for results. This can be problematic when the queueing time for the service is long. Instead, it is recommended that you use the job api directly. In this pattern, you can first create the job with the quantum circuit you wish to run, and the service immediately returns an object that has the id of the job. This job id can be recorded, and at any time in the future you can query for the results of this job.

qubit = cirq.LineQubit(0)
circuit = cirq.Circuit(
    cirq.X(qubit)**0.5,            # Square root of NOT.
    cirq.measure(qubit, key='x')   # Measurement store in key 'x'
)
job = service.create_job(circuit=circuit, target='qpu', repetitions=100)
print(job)

which shows that the returned object is a cirq.ionq.Job:

cirq.ionq.Job(job_id=93d111c1-0898-48b8-babe-80d182f8ad66)

One difference between this approach and the run and sampler methods is that the returned job object's results are more directly related to the return data from the IonQ API. They are of types ionq.QPUResult or ionq.SimulatorResult. If you wish to convert these into the cirq.Result format, you can use to_cirq_result on both of these.

Another useful feature of working with jobs directly is that you can directly cancel or delete jobs. In particular, the ionq.Job object returned by create_job has cancel and delete methods.

Next steps

Get information about QPUs from IonQ calibrations