Quantum Programming Language Silq
Recently, computer scientists at ETH Zurich made an important breakthrough in the field of programming languages: computer science professor Martin Vechev and his team have designed the first high-level programming language in the field of quantum computing. Silq, which is as simple, safe, and reliable as traditional computer languages.
“Compared to existing programming languages, the quantum programming language Silq enables programmers to do better,” says Professor Vechev. “Ground to harness the potential of quantum computers because these codes are more compact, faster, more practical, and easier to understand.”
Quantum computers are thought to be more capable of solving problems in the future than regular computers. Some quantum algorithms are faster than classical algorithms and have the potential that some classical algorithms do not. But until today, the high error rates of existing quantum computers have not been able to support these algorithms.
To realize the potential of quantum computing, not only the latest technology is needed, but also the quantum programming languages used to describe quantum algorithms are essential. In principle, an algorithm is a “recipe” for solving a problem. The programming language describes the algorithm so that the computer can perform the necessary calculations.
Today, quantum programming languages are closely tied to specific hardware. But these “hardware description languages” are both cumbersome and error-prone, because programmers have to describe individual programming in extremely detailed instructions, thus specifically describing the minimum required to implement a quantum algorithm.
Silq was created to help solve this problem. According to Benjamin Bichsel on the development team, “Silq is not primarily focused on hardware structure and functionality to design, and focus more on the programmer’s thinking when solving problems, they don’t need to understand the computer architecture and implementation of the of every detail.”
Probably the biggest innovation and contribution that Silq brings to the table is the elimination of a source of error that has long plagued quantum programming. In quantum computing, the garbage collection step is tricky because of quantum encryption: previously calculated values can be compared to the current value they interact with each other and therefore interfere with the correct calculation. Silq automatically identifies and removes these useless values.
“Silq is a major breakthrough in optimizing the design of quantum computer programs, but it’s just the beginning.” Professor Vechev and his team hope that their work will not only contribute to the development of quantum programming languages but also stimulate the theory of quantum algorithms was broken through and developed.