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Celebrating 7 years
of Qiskit

Since the first commit in 2017, a thriving global community has grown up around Qiskit—the most popular software for useful quantum computing.

History of Qiskit commits

↳ 2024


IBM Quantum Experience

Before 2016, quantum computers exist in laboratories, but are only available for on-site researchers to work with. With IBM Quantum Experience, IBM makes a real quantum computer available over the internet for the first time, launching a new era of quantum exploration.

Image of the IBM Quantum Composer on a tablet at IBM Research. (Connie Zhou for IBM)Image of the IBM Quantum Composer on a tablet at IBM Research. (Connie Zhou for IBM)


First Qiskit commit

Jay Gambetta publishes the first lines of code for Qiskit on GitHub on March 3rd.

First Qiskit release (Qiskit v0.1)

Qiskit arrives—a first-of-its-kind, open-source framework for programming quantum computers on March 7th.


IBM researchers publish a paper on arXiv describing the Open Quantum Assembly Language (OpenQASM), an interface language enabling experiments with small-depth quantum circuits. The first public release is OpenQASM v2.0.

Visual representation of OpenQASM



The transpiler is released to simplify the task of mapping circuits to specific quantum hardware. This is a key step toward making quantum computing more accessible to general users.

Qiskit elements (terra, aer, ignis, aqua)

IBM researchers release software packages for Qiskit.

  • Qiskit Terra, which would eventually become today’s Qiskit SDK, was the core software for building circuits.
  • Qiskit Aqua was focused on applying Qiskit to specific domain use cases, and is now available as separate community application modules.
  • Qiskit Ignis provided early explorations on error mitigation.
  • Qiskit Aer is also introduced at this time to support quantum computing simulations. It continues to provide world-leading open-source quantum simulation tools.

Visualization of the different Qiskit elements



This release was the foundation of Qiskit’s current interoperable capabilities, making it possible for Qiskit to run on quantum systems of many kinds from many providers.

First cohort of Qiskit advocates

Eighty-eight enthusiasts and experts first joined the program to represent Qiskit and teach quantum computing to their peers. Today the advocate program supports individuals worldwide who contribute to the Qiskit community.

First Qiskit camp

This three-day event in New York and Vermont brings together the growing community of developers, physicists, educators, researchers, and students working on quantum computing. This marks a milestone in the growth of the Qiskit community, with many more camps, hackathons, seminars, and similar events following all over the world.

First third-party hardware support

Qiskit gains support for a five-qubit trapped ion device at the University of Innsbruck hosted by Alpine Quantum Technologies. This marks the first third-party hardware provider on Qiskit.

Thanks to new transpilation capabilities between superconducting and trapped-ion gate sets, users gain the ability to write once for multiple architectures.

The first Qiskit camp attendees having a discussion in conference roomQuantum computing practitioners and students from all over the world gathered in 2019 for the first Qiskit Camp.


Work begins on OpenQASM v3.0

IBM researchers propose an update to OpenQASM—already the lingua franca of quantum computation—to account for the growing capabilities of quantum computers.


Qiskit Runtime

Qiskit Runtime defines near-time execution of quantum programs by combining classical containerized execution and QPUs (Quantum processing units) with a low-latency connection. Early runtime experiments demonstrate a 120X speedup for certain applications.

OpenQASM v3.0

The new version of the population programming language introduces new capabilities, including support for dynamic circuits. Before dynamic circuits, every quantum execution was a series of gates followed by a measurement. Dynamic circuits introduces in-stream measurements that vastly extend the possibilities of quantum computation. For more details, read the paper.

Architecture diagram from early Qiskit Runtime documentation.Architecture diagram from early Qiskit Runtime documentation.



The first Rust elements are introduced to Qiskit, driving greater efficiency. The Rust programming language would eventually be key to the Qiskit SDK v1.0 release.

Qiskit ecosystem

The ecosystem allows users to spotlight projects for the broader Qiskit community, improve their quality and credibility, and check compatibility with upcoming versions of Qiskit.

Dynamic circuits

Dynamic circuits augment quantum instructions with real-time classical processing as a part of quantum execution. This unlocks the expression of quantum circuits related to error correction, quantum simulation, quantum machine learning, and efficient quantum state preparation.

Error mitigation

Users gain access to error mitigation techniques through Qiskit Runtime, substantially improving the quality of quantum executions. This was a crucial step on the road to quantum utility.


A set of primitives called Estimator and Sampler are introduced to Qiskit Runtime. These primitives further simplify quantum executions, and make the latest optimizations more readily available to users.

Visual graphic of a person working on a computer at their desk


Execution modes

Execution modes in Qiskit Runtime more efficiently package jobs to run on quantum computers, making better use of limited compute resources and delivering results faster and at lower expense.

Qiskit Serverless

This technology enables quantum-centric supercomputing in the cloud. It simplifies the orchestration of quantum and classical resources, provisioning them when and where they are needed.


Qiskit SDK v1.0

Qiskit SDK v1.0 becomes the first stable release of Qiskit, with tools and capabilities for utility-era quantum computation. This utility-era software combines with utility-era IBM quantum hardware to enable real work.

Qiskit Code Assistant

Code Assistant streamlines the process of coding for quantum computers, using generative AI to write quantum algorithms using Qiskit.

Qiskit Transpiler Service

AI-powered tools in Qiskit Runtime enhance the transpilation of quantum circuits, enabling them to run with fewer gates.

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