Running with multiple-GPUs and/or multiple nodes#

Qiskit Aer parallelizes simulations by distributing quantum states into distributed memory space. To decrease data transfer between spaces the distributed states are managed as chunks that is a sub-state for smaller qubits than the input circuits.

For example, 30-qubits circuit is distributed into 2^10 chunks with 20-qubits.

To decrease data exchange between chunks and also to simplify the implementation, we are applying cache blocking technique. This technique allows applying quantum gates to each chunk independently without data exchange, and serial simulation codes can be reused without special implementation. Before the actual simulation, we apply transpilation to remap the input circuits to the equivalent circuits that has all the quantum gates on the lower qubits than the chunk’s number of qubits. And the (noiseless) swap gates are inserted to exchange data.

Please refer to this paper ( for more detailed algorithm and implementation of parallel simulation.

So to simulate by using multiple GPUs or multiple nodes on the cluster, following configurations should be set to backend options. (If there is not enough memory to simulate the input circuit, Qiskit Aer automatically set following options, but it is recommended to explicitly set them)

  • blocking_enable

should be set to True for distributed parallelization. (Default = False)

  • blocking_qubits

this flag sets the qubit number for chunk, should be smaller than the smallest memory space on the system (i.e. GPU). Set this parameter to satisfy sizeof(complex)*2^(blocking_qubits+4) < size of the smallest memory space in byte.

Here is an example how we parallelize simulation with multiple GPUs.

sim = AerSimulator(method='statevector', device='GPU')
circ = transpile(QuantumVolume(qubit, 10, seed = 0))
result = execute(circ, sim, shots=100, blocking_enable=True, blocking_qubits=23).result()

To run Qiskit Aer with Python script with MPI parallelization, MPI executer such as mpirun should be used to submit a job on the cluster. Following example shows how to run Python script using 4 processes by using mpirun.

mpirun -np 4 python

MPI_Init function is called inside Qiskit Aer, so you do not have to manage MPI processes in Python script. Following metadatas are useful to find on which process is this script running.

  • num_mpi_processes : shows number of processes using for this simulation

  • mpi_rank : shows zero based rank (process ID)

Here is an example how to get my rank.

sim = AerSimulator(method='statevector', device='GPU')
result = execute(circuit, sim, blocking_enable=True, blocking_qubits=23).result()
dict = result.to_dict()
meta = dict['metadata']
myrank = meta['mpi_rank']

Multiple shots are also distributed to multiple nodes when setting device=GPU and batched_shots_gpu=True. The results are distributed to each processes.

Note : In the script, make sure that the same random seed should be used for all processes so that the consistent circuits and parameters are passed to Qiskit Aer. To do so add following option to the script.

from qiskit.utils import algorithm_globals
algorithm_globals.random_seed = consistent_seed_to_all_processes