Skip to content


Switch branches/tags

Name already in use

A tag already exists with the provided branch name. Many Git commands accept both tag and branch names, so creating this branch may cause unexpected behavior. Are you sure you want to create this branch?

QMASM: A Quantum Macro Assembler

Build Status PyPI version


QMASM fills a gap in the software ecosystem for D-Wave's adiabatic quantum computers by shielding the programmer from having to know system-specific hardware details while still enabling programs to be expressed at a fairly low level of abstraction. It is therefore analogous to a conventional macro assembler and can be used in much the same way: as a target either for programmers who want a great deal of control over the hardware or for compilers that implement higher-level languages.

N.B. This tool used to be called "QASM" but was renamed to avoid confusion with MIT's QASM, which is used to describe quantum circuits (a different model of quantum computation from what the D-Wave uses) and the IBM Quantum Experience's QASM (now OpenQASM) language, also used for describing quantum circuits.


QMASM is written in Python. The latest release can be downloaded and installed from PyPI via

pip install qmasm

Alternatively, QMASM can be installed manually from GitHub using the standard Setuptools installation mechanisms. For example, use

python install

to install QMASM in the default location and

python install --prefix=/my/install/directory

to install elsewhere.


Documentation for QMASM can be found on the QMASM wiki.

QMASM (then known as QASM) is discussed in the following publication:

Scott Pakin. "A Quantum Macro Assembler". In Proceedings of the 20th Annual IEEE High Performance Extreme Computing Conference (HPEC 2016), Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, 13–15 September 2016. DOI: 10.1109/HPEC.2016.7761637.


QMASM is provided under a BSD-ish license with a "modifications must be indicated" clause. See the LICENSE file for the full text.

This package is part of the Hybrid Quantum-Classical Computing suite, known internally as LA-CC-16-032.


Scott Pakin,