Top 4 High-level programming languages for quantum computation

Computers functioning on quantum physics principles have enormous potential, which is why quantum computing is gaining attention. It is compelling to have high-programming languages for quantum computers to translate ideas into useful instructions.  These computers envisioned in the late 20th century, are hybrid machines that consist of classical computers and quantum devices that send instructions to the hardware and process the received information to obtain quality results.

What are quantum programming languages?

The quantum programming languages are used to teach concepts of quantum computing, control existing physical devices, verify and further implement these quantum algorithms. These languages are also used to estimate the costs of quantum algorithms. High-level programming languages in quantum computers are easy to maintain, read, and write, meaning, complex formulas and tasks can be easily described with less code. These languages used for quantum computation are portable and can be executed on any computer type with little modification.

Quantum computing languages cater to various purposes and target audiences ranging from seasoned practitioners to newcomers. Software tools and programming languages facilitate the development, discovery, and advancement of quantum applications by authorizing program analysis, verification, visualization, and resource estimation of these applications. The following are the top 4 high-level programming languages used in quantum computers:


Silq is the first-ever high-level quantum computing language and one of the newest efforts developed by researchers at ETH, Zurich, Switzerland. This programming language offers an abstraction level close to C. Expressions like (a+b) +c are directly supported by Silq often made difficult to support by other quantum languages. Its design is not limited to its focus on functionality and construction of underlying hardware. A programmer’s mindset is paid due consideration while solving problems and finding solutions that avoid minute implementation and architecture details of a computer.


Q# is an open-source quantum programming language from Microsoft used for running and developing quantum algorithms. It is a segment of Quantum Development Kit (QDK),  which includes API documentation, extensions for various programming environments, quantum simulators, and Q# libraries. This quantum-focused domain-specific language is designed to completely; correctly and clearly express quantum algorithms. The QDK also includes quantum computing and artificial intelligence, chemistry, and numeric libraries. Quantum computing provides artificial intelligence a computational boost to tackle complex issues and artificial general intelligence. The Q# programs can be run through Jupyter Notebooks or .NET host program, or use Python, as a console application.


Quipper is a high-level embedded and functional programming language used in quantum computing. It provides support for hierarchical circuits, quantum computing and artificial intelligence. It is a syntax that allows a combination of declarative and procedural programming styles. This quantum language is used by computers to generate quantum gate representations and is also used in programming multiple sets of non-trivial algorithms.


 The Open Quantum Assembly Language (OpenQASM) was first published in 2017 having similar qualities to traditionally used hardware description languages. The implementation of this language was initially released as a part of the Quantum Information Software Kit (Qiskit) of IBM. It is an imperative programming language that describes quantum circuits and universal quantum computing over the CNOT plus SU (2)  basis with a straight-line code that includes gate subroutines, fast-feedback, reset, and measurement using near-term computing experiments, measurement-based, and circuit models.  Its syntax has components of assembly and C languages.

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