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Quantum Software in 2024: What It Is & How It Works

Quantum computing is an emerging area with significant potential, especially in the area of optimization problems. Since quantum computing works with a different mechanism than classical computing, the software approach for quantum computing is also different.

In this article, we explain what quantum software is, how it works, and we will showcase the top vendors in the field.

What is quantum software?

2 types of quantum software are:

Software running quantum algorithms

Quantum software development kits and computational platforms provide solutions for end-users. These help end users develop and test their quantum algorithms.

Software enabling quantum computers to perform

Quantum computers have performance issues due to random errors and error-correcting software is built to correct such errors. An error-correcting software or firmware is a low-level program that increases the stability of quantum computers.

What are quantum software development kits?

Quantum Software Development Kit is a tool for developing quantum algorithms that can be used in quantum computers or simulators and emulators which use classical programming languages.

Computational Platforms

Computational platforms provide users access of quantum computers to perform quantum computations via cloud. Building a new quantum computer is a highly expensive investment for many companies. That is why computational platforms make sense for companies to experiment with quantum compting.

The solution is provided by quantum computer companies for developers to test their code on real quantum computers. The following companies and their products are the leading computational platforms for quantum computing.

  • Riverlane- DeltaFlow
  • Qutech- Quantum Inspire
  • IBM- IQ Experience
  • Strangeworks- Quantum Computing Platform
  • Google – Quantum Playground
  • QC Ware- Forge
  • Microsoft -LIQUi|>

Quantum Error-Correcting Software and Firmware

As with classical computing, quantum computing requires low-level programming and error correcting algorithms. Q-CTRL is one of the companies working on Quantum firmware. Quantum computers by making error-correcting to make more efficient qubits.

Quantum Benchmark is a company working on quantum error-correcting software and firmware. Quantum Benchmark provides software solutions that enable error characterization, error mitigation, and error correction and performance validation for quantum computing hardware.

How Does Quantum Software Work?

As in classical computing, a problem must be formulated and translated by using quantum software in order to make quantum computers or simulators can solve. Different software systems may have different methods to make them work. D-wave describes how their “Ocean Software” works in the figure below.

The view illustrates the functioning in three layer: applications, Ocean Software and compute resources. For ocean software layer, we can see how ocean software contains mapping methods, uniform samples API and sampler to do graph mapping and constraint compilation, find the suitable problem and Simulate annealing, hybrid sampler and D-Wave API.
Figure 1: Quantum Software example, Source: D-Wave

There are different layers to perform a quantum software in this figure.


In this process, a problem is defined and transformed to a state that quantum algorithms can solve. Different applications and problem types may have different approaches to model the problem.


Data and samples are taken to make the problem solvable by quantum computers.

Uniform Sampler API

A layer that can access the selected sampler.


Different samplers can be used to get a sample from the solution of the problem. For example, Simulated annealing or a Hybrid sampler can be used.

Compute Resources

It’s the computing hardware that computes the solution.

What Are The Major Quantum Software Companies?

Not only tech giants are dominating the quantum software market, there are many start up companies which provide software solutions for quantum computing. D-wave 1 is the earliest quantum startup company which is founded at 1999 and also became the first company to sell a commercial quantum computer. D-wave is also one of the leading company that works on software development part of the quantum computers.

A list of the major software companies is below. We have also prepared a comprehensive, sortable list of quantum computing companies.

Company NameQuantum Software Solution
IBMIQ Experience/
Quantum Playground
MicrosoftLIQUi|> /
Zapata ComputingOrquestra
1QBit1QBit SDK
AmazonBraket SDK
XanaduStrawberry Fields/
QutechQuantum Inspire
StrangeWorksQuantum Computing Platform
QC WareForge
Q-CTRLBlack Opal/
Boulder Opal/
Open Controls
Quantum BenchmarkTrue-Q

For more on quantum computing

If you are interested in learning more about quantum computing, read:

Finally, if you have more question, please contact us:

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst
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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem has been the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per similarWeb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised businesses on their enterprise software, automation, cloud, AI / ML and other technology related decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Innova Technologies
Feb 28, 2023 at 23:04

The article on quantum software is quite informative and provides a detailed analysis of the various applications of quantum computing. It is interesting to learn about how this technology is being used in different industries and how it can help solve complex problems.

Graeme Jacobson
Oct 12, 2021 at 20:16

Another platform to try out is qBraid. There you can find a wholistic view of quantum sdk’s and tutorials, all from a cloud-based IDE platform. Basic services are also free!

Bardia Eshghi
Nov 25, 2022 at 01:27

Hello, Graeme! Thanks for the input!

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