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KQCircuits, IQM’s software tool for designing superconducting quantum processors of the future.

IQM Quantum Computers (IQM) and Aalto University announced in June 2021 – KQCircuits, an open-source software tool to automate the design of superconducting quantum processors using the KLayout design program API.

The state-of-the-art quantum processor design platform, KQCircuits, creates a community-driven universal platform that enables quantum chip development through a simple and open framework, from chip design and simulation to fabrication. With this platform, quantum engineers and physicists can conveniently generate processor designs and check the signal routing before the device fabrication process.

A superconducting quantum circuits, called KQCircuits, by IQM Quamtum Computer

So, what is KQCircuits?

KQCircuits is a python library that generates multi-layer two-dimensional geometry representing common structures in quantum processing units (QPU). KQCircuits is a KLayout extension which can be used either with a graphical user interface or as a standalone python module. KQCircuits support both modes of operation. For first-time users, the graphical user interface mode is recommended.

KQCircuits includes definitions of parametrized geometrical objects or “elements”, a framework to easily define your own elements, a framework to get geometry from the elements by setting values to parameters, and a framework to assemble a full QPU design by combining many of the elements in different geometrical relations.

To reduce design turnaround time and manual errors, KQC includes support for exporting optical mask layouts and lithography patterns, project files for easy simulations with popular FEM software such as Ansyss HFSS, Ansyss Q3D, and Sonnet, and Netlist for SPICE simulations. For further details, check out the video here.

Useful Links about KQCircuits

IQM welcomes contributions to the code. Please see the contribution agreements for individuals ( and organizations (

IQM KQCircuits Tutorial: Getting Started
  • KQCircuits is a KLayout extension. KLayout can be used either using a graphical user interface or as a standalone python module. KQCircuits supports both modes of operation. For the first time users, the graphical user interface mode is recommended.
  • Install and run KLayout once. Run python3 then klayout will contain KQCircuits. For further details see the getting started documentation.
  • For stand alone mode run python -m pip install -e .[docs,tests]. Then scripts may be run and documentation can be built. For further details see the documentation.

Documentation for KQCircuits superconducting quantum circuits design can be found here.

It may also be generated from the sources with make html in the docs directory.

About IQM Quantum Computers:

IQM is the pan-European leader in building quantum computers. IQM provides on-premises quantum computers for supercomputing centres and research labs and offers full access to its hardware. For industrial customers, IQM delivers a quantum advantage through a unique application-specific, co-design approach.

IQM is building Finland’s first commercial 54-qubit quantum computer with VTT, and an IQM-led consortium (Q-Exa) is building a quantum computer in Germany. The computer will be integrated into an HPC supercomputer to create an accelerator for future scientific research. IQM has over 170+ employees with offices in Paris, Madrid, Munich and Espoo. For more information, visit

Also check out our open positions at IQM here:

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