New Quantum Intermediate Representation Alliance Serves as Common Interface for Quantum Computing Development

QIR Alliance is part of the Linux Foundation’s work on open standards

SAN FRANCISCO, November 30, 2021 – The Linux Foundation, the non-profit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, today announced the new QIR Alliance, a joint effort to establish intermediary representation with the aim of facilitating interoperability within the quantum ecosystem and providing a suitable representation for current and future heterogeneous quantum processors. The founding members are Honeywell, Microsoft, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Quantum Circuits Inc. and Rigetti Computing.

QIR, or Quantum Intermediate Representation, is based on the popular open source LLVM compiler toolchain. QIR specifies a set of rules to represent quantum programs in the LLVM IR. Examples of QIR applications include using the standard LLVM infrastructure to write quantum optimizers that run on QIR and target it to specific hardware backends or link it to classic high-performance libraries for quantum simulation.

“We expect there will be exciting advances in how classical and quantum computations can interact at the hardware level. The QIR Alliance will provide a unique representation that can be used both for constrained capabilities today and for more powerful systems of the future, ”said Bettina Heim, senior director of software engineering at Microsoft. “This will allow the community to experiment and develop optimizations and code transformations that work in a variety of use cases. “

Quantum SDKs and development languages ​​are emerging and evolving at a rapid pace, along with new quantum processors with unique and distinct capabilities from each other. To ensure interoperability between new languages ​​and new hardware capabilities and reduce development efforts by all parties, it is imperative that the ecosystem develops and shares a forward-looking intermediate representation that works with current quantum hardware. and future.

“Quantum technology is still fairly nascent, but the promise is growing every day,” said Seth Newberry, general manager of standards at the Joint Development Foundation. “The QIR Alliance stands ready to enable the open and technical development necessary to deliver on these promises. We are very happy to provide a forum for this work.

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Quotes from members


“The Quantum-Intermediate Representation Alliance, also known as QIRA, is a key part of the quantum computing ecosystem that enables quantum hardware vendors and quantum software vendors to reduce the redundant efforts involved in implementation of programming languages ​​in quantum computing architectures, ”said Alex Chernoguzov, Honeywell Quantum Chief Engineer, Honeywell.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

“ORNL is delighted to be part of the Quantum Intermediate Representation Alliance, which aims to develop a unified LLVM-based intermediate representation for quantum computing. Coherent IR of quantum programs will enable interoperability between quantum applications and hardware devices, making quantum computing more usable for researchers and developers. We look forward to contributing to the QIR specification and the associated compilation toolchain as part of this partnership, ”said Thien Nguyen, Quantum Computing Researcher, Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Quantum circuits inc.

At QCI, we are very happy to participate in the QIR Alliance. The QIR approach represents a revolutionary advance in the representation of quantum circuits, allowing users to take full advantage of the unique capabilities of quantum computing systems on a variety of different hardware platforms, ”said Tom Lubinski, chief software architect of Quantum Circuits Inc.


“Rigetti pioneered hybrid system architectures that are rapidly becoming the predominant approach for cloud-based quantum computing,” said David Rivas, SVP Systems & Services at Rigetti Computing. “The QIR Alliance focuses precisely on the interface between quantum and classical computing, enabling rapid advancements in the design and execution of quantum programming language systems. We are excited to be working closely with this community to design the necessary compiler technology and develop implementations for Rigetti hardware.

About the Joint Development Foundation

Launched in 2015, the Joint Development Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization that provides legal and corporate infrastructure for groups to quickly establish and operate standards and development collaborations. source code. More information on the Joint Development Foundation is available at

About the Linux Foundation

Founded in 2000, the Linux Foundation is supported by more than 1,000 members and is the world leader in collaboration on open source software, open standards, open data and open hardware. Linux Foundation projects are essential to global infrastructure, including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, etc. The Linux Foundation’s methodology focuses on leveraging best practices and meeting the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create enduring models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at

Source: Linux Foundation

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