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NEW DELHI : The Indian government on Thursday launched a Quantum Simulator (QSim) which will allow developers, scientists, and students to research advancements in quantum computing in the country. 

Quantum Simulators are devices that allow scientists to study quantum effects, which are otherwise difficult to study in a lab. They are important tools for developing and debugging quantum algorithms.

The QSim platform is built by the Indian Institute of Sciences (IISc), Bengaluru, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Roorkee, and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The platform will not require researchers to install any software on their devices. They can sign into it from any browser using qctoolkit.com. The simulation will be done using computing resources from C-DAC’s high-performance computers, like PARAM Shavak and PARAM Siddhi. Quantum algorithms like Deutsch-Jozsa etc. are also built into the platform.

“The simulator is a software library that simulates quantum computation on our classical computers," said Professor Govindan Rangarajan, Director, IISc. “The novelty of this simulator is that it includes various types of errors that can occur in a realistic practical device, while other available simulators, including ones from Google, IBM and Amazon, only simulate quantum systems that have no errors," he claimed.

Qubits, or quantum bits, are the quantum computing analogue of classical computer bits. They form the basic information in quantum computing. It can handle up to 10-12 qubits on laptops and about 50 qubits on larger workstations. Tech giant Google had announced a similar QSim in December last year, which allows researchers to simulate 30 qubits on a laptop and up to 40 qubits on the Google Cloud. Quantum noise is programmed into simulators so that they can better represent practical equipment, where errors may occur because of the actual physical circuitry, temperature etc.

Quantum computing has been an area of focus for the government since 2020. “We are coming to an era where the traditional computing power growth, through the traditional means of silicon and semiconductor power is drawing to a close. We’re not going to see the next generation of computing power growth come from a combination of software, new architectures and an overall system redesign and paradigm," said Rajeev Chandrashekhar, Minister of State (MoS) for Electronics and IT. “That is where Quantum Computing comes in and is clearly going to be at the cutting edge of future demands of computing power. QSim is a gateway for Indian scientists to take us in that direction," he added.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had proposed an outlay of 8000 crore over a period of five years for the National Mission on Quantum Technologies and Applications. The Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) had also announced a collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS) earlier, to develop a Quantum Computing Applications Lab in the country, meant to provide access to quantum computing development environments to developers, academics etc.

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