Introducing Silq- First Intuitive Programming Language for Quantum Computing

Silq: The first universal and intuitive programming for quantum computers!

Amazing, isn’t it?

First, it was the quantum computer that spurred excitement projecting to solve humanity’s problems. Now, the unveiling of the world’s first-ever intuitive programming language for quantum computers.

Designed by the researchers at ETH Zurich, Silq is the first programming language to be used to program quantum computers. The programming language proclaims to be the world’s first high-level quantum language. It is simple, reliable, high-level, and are more expressive. This simply means the language can identify complex tasks and algorithms with lesser codes.

Why Silq?

Because Silq,

  • is the first programming language not specifically designed to stay around the construction or functionality of the hardware. However, programmers can use the language whenever they need to understand every tiny detail of the computer’s architecture and implementation.
  • not only erases and identifies values that are not needed anymore but offers a breakthrough with regard to optimizing the programming of quantum computers.
  • offers a strong static type system used to provide intuitive semantics. For instance, if program-type checks, the semantics tend to follow the intuitive recipe that helps drop values.

According to computer scientists at ETH Zurich, programming quantum computers have become easier. Their first designed was said to be used as simply, reliably, and safely as classical computers.

But for researchers, using Silq is still a challenge says Martin Vechev, a computer science professor in ETH’s Secure, Reliable and Intelligent Systems Lab (SRI). One of the reasons why they’re all excited to continue ETH Zurich tradition toward the development of quantum computers along with programming languages.

Martin adds on saying, “our quantum programming language Silq allows programmers to utilize the potential of quantum computers better than with existing languages because the code is more compact, faster, more intuitive and easier to understand for programmers.”

Why use Silq programming language?

Most of the time quantum computation produces temporary values. However, removing values from consideration leading to measurement collapsing the state of quantum computing. Now to remove such temporary values from consideration without inducing measurement collapsing, algorithms from the existing languages need to uncompute all other temporary values.

However, this further leads to the development of the gap between quantum to classical languages which is a major barrier in adopting quantum languages. This is an implication of the side effects caused by the uncomputation mistake like dropping values that are highly unintuitive.

Now, this is where Silq comes in the picture.

Silq bridges the gap by automatically uncomputing the temporary values. The type system used by Silq exploits the fundamental patterns in quantum algorithms projecting that uncomputation can be safely done if,

  • the variables used for evaluation have been preserved and can be used as leverage for uncomputation.
  • the original evaluation of the uncomputed value is accountable to be described classically.

One of the greatest simplification Silq offers as a programming language for quantum computers is the errors that have invaded quantum programming. It takes several intermediate steps to create immediate results.

Grover’s Algorithm in Silq


To relive a memory, classical computers tend to automatically erase all these values. This is being referred to as “garbage collection” by computer scientists because the temporary values are disposed of.

But in the case of quantum computers, the disposal method is tricky because of quantum entanglement – previously calculated values tend to interact with the current ones leading to interference with the correct calculation. This is where the technique of uncomputation comes to play. If not mentioned earlier, uncomputation is a method or an advanced technique that helps in cleaning up temporary values on quantum computers.

Well, Silq is the first programming language that automatically identifies and erases values that are no longer needed,” says Bichsel, one of the doctoral students in Vechev’s group involved in supervising the development of Silq.

Silq, it’s user advantage

Designed as the first universal language for quantum computers, Silq offers breakthroughs in correcting major flaws in quantum computing.

  • Algorithms used by Silq are shorter and simpler.
  • An added advantage, it is safe and is automatic uncomputation.
  • Devoid of notational overhead associated with languages capable of achieving lesser static safety measures in programs.
  • Silq is accountable to enable intuitive yet physical semantics and prevent errors that cannot be easily detected in the existing quantum languages.
  • Capable of modifying the program’s state following an intuitive semantic which follows the laws of quantum physics.

If you further wish to install Silq, you can do it by using its Visual Studio Code (vscode) Plugin. This approach appliesto Mac, Windows, and Linux.

Researchers are extensively working on quantum computers in an attempt to reach new levels of technology innovation possessing computational quality which is a million times larger than classical computers. But this will still require a high-level of cryogenic temperatures to operate making it unlikely to be used as consumer devices, at least not till the near future.

The main objective of developing Silq is to deliver easy and concise QPLs to boost growth and innovation while developing quantum algorithms.

Editorial Team
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