IBM, the Quantum Food Court

Brian N. Siegelwax
5 min readSep 1, 2023


But, standalone quantum restaurants exist.

I recently described IBM Quantum as a food court. With the hardware, the simulators, the portal, and the Qiskit framework, there is nowhere else you can go and find that much variety. A good rule of thumb is that if you have a craving for something, you can probably find it there. The same holds true for New Jersey diners, but the concept of a food court is probably more familiar to most readers.

Way-Too-Long Lines

A growing problem with IBM Quantum, which they are very well aware of, is that this food court has become very popular. And if you go through the main entrance, there is a fair-share queueing system. In principle, if you’ve never been there before, you get to move up in line. In practice, though, I know someone whose first-ever circuit took 2–3 weeks to run. In 2023, I’ve cancelled most of my jobs, because once I stand in line the line keeps getting longer and longer. Over the course of a few hours, my projected wait usually gets longer, not shorter.

Cutting In Line

Admittedly, I could cheat. I don’t have to use the “open” program, but I’m not inclined to use projects for a boost if I’m not actually working on a project. That would be like using a walking cane to cut in line if you’re…