Meet Silq: The First High-Level Quantum Computer Language

Silq’s code is remarkedly shorter — 46% than Q# and 38% than Quipper; is easier to read and write, and uses half the number of quantum primitives than other quantum programming languages.

Quantum computers are at a stage where classical computers were at one point in time.

The development of the C language in the 1970s was a breakthrough in classical computing. Before then, algorithms were expressed in assembly language that communicated directly with a computer’s hardware. Although it gave programmers a higher level of control over the machine, these computer programs were long, complex, and hard to debug, thus, limiting its usage and functionality. C changed that for the better. This was easy to use and intuitive language, which opened the world of programming to a much larger audience. So much so that most of the software today is written in C. 2020, is perhaps that moment for quantum computing!

Meet Silq — the world’s first high-level intuitive programming language for quantum computers that can be used by masses to program simply, reliably, and safely.
Here’s a quick roundabout of programming in the quantum world in the backdrop of the rise of Silq.

Taking the Silq Route in Quantum Computing

Silq was created by researchers at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and like most good breakthroughs, originally, they didn’t set out to create a new quantum language.
Existing quantum programming languages force programmers to explicitly provide for every single operation, which makes the implementation of quantum algorithms tedious and prone to error, says Benjamin Bichsel, one of the researchers.

The identification of this weakness in quantum programming prompted ETH Zurich’s researchers to work on a solution and their two years of work led to the discovery of the first intuitive high-level programming language in quantum computing — Silq.

Similar to programming languages for classical computers, which are designed in a manner that doesn’t require programmers to know the workings of CPU, Silq aims to shield developers from the necessity of knowing every detail of the complexity of quantum computer architecture, and yet allowing them to code and run quantum algorithms successfully.

It is the first quantum language designed around the mindsets of programmers, and not the functionality of the hardware. This approach will make quantum computing more accessible to even non-expert quantum programmers as well as AI Engineers and data scientists who are interested in the field of quantum computing.
Now, before we jump onto how Silq improves upon current quantum languages, we look at a few fundamentals and a major problem that quantum programmers face, which Silq seeks to solve.