Locking the design of building blocks for quantum circuits

Samah Mohamed Saeed, Robert Wille, Ramesh Karri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The research community expects that quantum computers will give economical results for particular problems on which the classical computers break down. Examples include factoring of large numbers, searching in a big database, or simulating chemical reactions to design new drugs. Attempts are ongoing to build up a practical quantum computer. Users (clients) can implement quantum circuits to run on these quantum computers. However, before running the quantum circuit on the quantum computer, the users (clients) should compile, optimize, decompose, and technology map the quantum circuit. In the current embodiment, the resulting quantum circuit runs on a remote and untrusted quantum computer server - introducing security risks. This study explores the risk of outsourcing the quantum circuit to the quantum computer by focusing on quantum oracles. Quantum oracles are pivotal building blocks and require specialized expertise and means to design. Hence, the designer may protect this proprietary quantum oracle intellectual property (IP) and hide his/her private information. We investigate how to manage that on a quantum computer server using the IBM project QX quantum computer and Qiskit tools as an exemplar.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbera60
JournalACM Transactions on Embedded Computing Systems
Issue number5s
StatePublished - Oct 2019


  • IP piracy
  • Locking the oracle
  • Privacy
  • Quantum circuit
  • Quantum oracle
  • Reversible logic
  • Security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Hardware and Architecture


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