Qiskit Runtime glossary


Primitives provide a simplified interface for defining near-time quantum-classical workloads required to efficiently build and customize applications. The initial release of Qiskit Runtime includes two primitives: Estimator and Sampler. They perform foundational quantum computing tasks and act as an entry point to Qiskit Runtime.

Prototype program

Prototype programs are built with primitives and are tailored for specific research applications. They are experimental and subject to change as Qiskit Runtime evolves.

Qiskit program

Qiskit Python source code that describes the problem to solve, combining classical and quantum computation. It takes inputs from the users, makes the calculation, and returns the results. Each instance of a Qiskit program execution is similar to a computer process and is represented as a runtime job.

Qiskit program metadata

The data that defines your program. Critical components are name, maximum execution time, version, backend requirements, and input/output parameters.

Qiskit Runtime

Qiskit Runtime is a cloud service that runs the Qiskit program remotely as a process, passing the input from the user, and handling the connectivity between the Qiskit program, the user, and the quantum processing unit. You can repeat this multiple times with the same or different Qiskit programs.

Qiskit Runtime manager

The main task of this component of the architecture is to prepare Qiskit Runtime, load the Qiskit programs, and supervise the correct execution.

OpenQASM circuit

Quantum circuit format generated by the Qiskit program. OpenQASM is the low-level language consumed by the Quantum Processing Unit (QPU).

Quantum processing unit (QPU)

Part of the computational unit that performs the quantum computation.