Not All SWAPs Have the Same Cost: A Case for Optimization-Aware Qubit Routing

by   Ji Liu, et al.

Despite rapid advances in quantum computing technologies, the qubit connectivity limitation remains to be a critical challenge. Both near-term NISQ quantum computers and relatively long-term scalable quantum architectures do not offer full connectivity. As a result, quantum circuits may not be directly executed on quantum hardware, and a quantum compiler needs to perform qubit routing to make the circuit compatible with the device layout. During the qubit routing step, the compiler inserts SWAP gates and performs circuit transformations. Given the connectivity topology of the target hardware, there are typically multiple qubit routing candidates. The state-of-the-art compilers use a cost function to evaluate the number of SWAP gates for different routes and then select the one with the minimum number of SWAP gates. After qubit routing, the quantum compiler performs gate optimizations upon the circuit with the newly inserted SWAP gates. In this paper, we observe that the aforementioned qubit routing is not optimal, and qubit routing should not be independent on subsequent gate optimizations. We find that with the consideration of gate optimizations, not all of the SWAP gates have the same basis-gate cost. These insights lead to the development of our qubit routing algorithm, NASSC (Not All Swaps have the Same Cost). NASSC is the first algorithm that considers the subsequent optimizations during the routing step. Our optimization-aware qubit routing leads to better routing decisions and benefits subsequent optimizations. We also propose a new optimization-aware decomposition for the inserted SWAP gates. Our experiments show that the routing overhead compiled with our routing algorithm is reduced by up to 69.30% (21.30% on average) in the number of CNOT gates and up to 43.50% (7.61% on average) in the circuit depth compared with the state-of-the-art scheme, SABRE.


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