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IBMBackend(configuration, provider, api_client, instance=None)GitHub(opens in a new tab)

Backend class interfacing with an IBM Quantum device.

You can run experiments on a backend using the run() method. The run() method takes one or more QuantumCircuit(opens in a new tab) and returns an IBMJob instance that represents the submitted job. Each job has a unique job ID, which can later be used to retrieve the job. An example of this flow:

from qiskit import transpile
from qiskit_ibm_provider import IBMProvider
from qiskit.circuit.random import random_circuit
provider = IBMProvider()
backend = provider.backend.ibmq_vigo
qx = random_circuit(n_qubits=5, depth=4)
transpiled = transpile(qx, backend=backend)
job =
retrieved_job = provider.backend.retrieve_job(job.job_id())
  • Unlike qiskit.execute(), the run() method does not transpile the circuits for you, so be sure to do so before submitting them.
  • You should not instantiate the IBMBackend class directly. Instead, use the methods provided by an IBMProvider instance to retrieve and handle backends.

Other methods return information about the backend. For example, the status() method returns a BackendStatus(opens in a new tab) instance. The instance contains the operational and pending_jobs attributes, which state whether the backend is operational and also the number of jobs in the server queue for the backend, respectively:

status = backend.status()
is_operational = status.operational
jobs_in_queue = status.pending_jobs

Here is list of attributes available on the IBMBackend class:

  • name: backend name.

  • backend_version: backend version in the form X.Y.Z.

  • num_qubits: number of qubits.

  • target: A qiskit.transpiler.Target(opens in a new tab) object for the backend.

  • basis_gates: list of basis gates names on the backend.

  • gates: list of basis gates on the backend.

  • local: backend is local or remote.

  • simulator: backend is a simulator.

  • conditional: backend supports conditional operations.

  • open_pulse: backend supports open pulse.

  • memory: backend supports memory.

  • max_shots: maximum number of shots supported.

  • coupling_map (list): The coupling map for the device

  • supported_instructions (List[str]): Instructions supported by the backend.

  • dynamic_reprate_enabled (bool): whether delay between programs can be set dynamically (ie via rep_delay). Defaults to False.

  • rep_delay_range (List[float]): 2d list defining supported range of repetition delays for backend in μs. First entry is lower end of the range, second entry is higher end of the range. Optional, but will be specified when dynamic_reprate_enabled=True.

  • default_rep_delay (float): Value of rep_delay if not specified by user and dynamic_reprate_enabled=True.

  • n_uchannels: Number of u-channels.

  • u_channel_lo: U-channel relationship on device los.

  • meas_levels: Supported measurement levels.

  • qubit_lo_range: Qubit lo ranges for each qubit with form (min, max) in GHz.

  • meas_lo_range: Measurement lo ranges for each qubit with form (min, max) in GHz.

  • dt: Qubit drive channel timestep in nanoseconds.

  • dtm: Measurement drive channel timestep in nanoseconds.

  • rep_times: Supported repetition times (program execution time) for backend in μs.

  • meas_kernels: Supported measurement kernels.

  • discriminators: Supported discriminators.

  • hamiltonian: An optional dictionary with fields characterizing the system hamiltonian.

  • channel_bandwidth (list): Bandwidth of all channels (qubit, measurement, and U)

  • acquisition_latency (list): Array of dimension n_qubits x n_registers. Latency (in units of dt) to write a measurement result from qubit n into register slot m.

  • conditional_latency (list): Array of dimension n_channels [d->u->m] x n_registers. Latency (in units of dt) to do a conditional operation on channel n from register slot m

  • meas_map (list): Grouping of measurement which are multiplexed

  • max_circuits (int): The maximum number of experiments per job

  • sample_name (str): Sample name for the backend

  • n_registers (int): Number of register slots available for feedback (if conditional is True)

  • register_map (list): An array of dimension n_qubits X n_registers that specifies whether a qubit can store a measurement in a certain register slot.

  • configurable (bool): True if the backend is configurable, if the backend is a simulator

  • credits_required (bool): True if backend requires credits to run a job.

  • online_date (datetime): The date that the device went online

  • display_name (str): Alternate name field for the backend

  • description (str): A description for the backend

  • tags (list): A list of string tags to describe the backend

  • version: version of Backend class (Ex: 1, 2)

  • channels: An optional dictionary containing information of each channel – their purpose, type, and qubits operated on.

  • parametric_pulses (list): A list of pulse shapes which are supported on the backend. For example: ['gaussian', 'constant']

  • processor_type (dict): Processor type for this backend. A dictionary of the form {"family": <str>, "revision": <str>, segment: <str>} such as {"family": "Canary", "revision": "1.0", segment: "A"}.

    • family: Processor family of this backend.
    • revision: Revision version of this processor.
    • segment: Segment this processor belongs to within a larger chip.

IBMBackend constructor.




Return the CouplingMap(opens in a new tab) object


Return the system time resolution of input signals

This is required to be implemented if the backend supports Pulse scheduling.

Return type



The input signal timestep in seconds. If the backend doesn’t define dt, None will be returned.


Return the system time resolution of output signals :returns: The output signal timestep in seconds. :rtype: dtm


= False


Return the InstructionDurations(opens in a new tab) object.


Return the InstructionScheduleMap(opens in a new tab) for the instructions defined in this backend’s target.


A list of Instruction tuples on the backend of the form (instruction, (qubits)

Return type

List[Tuple[Instruction(opens in a new tab), Tuple[int]]]


The maximum number of circuits The maximum number of circuits that can be run in a single job. If there is no limit this will return None.

Return type



Return the grouping of measurements which are multiplexed This is required to be implemented if the backend supports Pulse scheduling. :returns: The grouping of measurements which are multiplexed :rtype: meas_map


Return the number of qubits the backend has.

Return type



A list of instruction names that the backend supports.

Return type



A list of Instruction(opens in a new tab) instances that the backend supports.

Return type

List[Instruction(opens in a new tab)]


Return the options for the backend

The options of a backend are the dynamic parameters defining how the backend is used. These are used to control the run() method.


Return the backend Provider.


the Provider responsible for the backend.

Return type



Return session

Return type



A qiskit.transpiler.Target(opens in a new tab) object for the backend. :rtype: Target(opens in a new tab) :returns: Target


= 2


Name of the backend.


Optional human-readable description.


Date that the backend came online.


Version of the backend being provided. This is not the same as BackendV2.version, which is the version of the Backend abstract interface.




Return the acquisition channel for the given qubit.


The Qubit measurement acquisition line.

Return type




Cancel session. All pending jobs will be cancelled.

Return type




Close the session so new jobs will no longer be accepted, but existing queued or running jobs will run to completion. The session will be terminated once there are no more pending jobs.

Return type




Return the backend configuration.

Backend configuration contains fixed information about the backend, such as its name, number of qubits, basis gates, coupling map, quantum volume, etc.

The schema for backend configuration can be found in Qiskit/ibm-quantum-schemas(opens in a new tab).

Return type

Union[QasmBackendConfiguration(opens in a new tab), PulseBackendConfiguration(opens in a new tab)]


The configuration for the backend.



Return the secondary drive channel for the given qubit.

This is typically utilized for controlling multiqubit interactions. This channel is derived from other channels.


qubits (Iterable[int]) – Tuple or list of qubits of the form (control_qubit, target_qubit).


The Qubit measurement acquisition line.

Return type




Return the pulse defaults for the backend.

The schema for default pulse configuration can be found in Qiskit/ibm-quantum-schemas(opens in a new tab).


refresh (bool) – If True, re-query the server for the backend pulse defaults. Otherwise, return a cached version.

Return type

Optional[PulseDefaults(opens in a new tab)]


The backend pulse defaults or None if the backend does not support pulse.



Return the drive channel for the given qubit.


The Qubit drive channel

Return type



classmethod get_translation_stage_plugin()

Return the default translation stage plugin name for IBM backends.

Return type




Return the measure stimulus channel for the given qubit.


The Qubit measurement stimulus line

Return type




Open session

Return type



properties(refresh=False, datetime=None)

Return the backend properties, subject to optional filtering.

This data describes qubits properties (such as T1 and T2), gates properties (such as gate length and error), and other general properties of the backend.

The schema for backend properties can be found in Qiskit/ibm-quantum-schemas(opens in a new tab).


  • refresh (bool) – If True, re-query the server for the backend properties. Otherwise, return a cached version.
  • datetime (Optional[datetime]) – By specifying datetime, this function returns an instance of the BackendProperties(opens in a new tab) whose timestamp is closest to, but older than, the specified datetime.

Return type

Optional[BackendProperties(opens in a new tab)]


The backend properties or None if the backend properties are not currently available.


TypeError – If an input argument is not of the correct type.



Return QubitProperties for a given qubit.

If there are no defined or the backend doesn’t support querying these details this method does not need to be implemented.


qubit (Union[int, List[int]]) – The qubit to get the QubitProperties object for. This can be a single integer for 1 qubit or a list of qubits and a list of QubitProperties objects will be returned in the same order

Return type

Union[QubitProperties(opens in a new tab), List[QubitProperties(opens in a new tab)]]


The QubitProperties object for the specified qubit. If a list of qubits is provided a list will be returned. If properties are missing for a qubit this can be None.


NotImplementedError – if the backend doesn’t support querying the qubit properties


run(circuits, dynamic=None, job_tags=None, init_circuit=None, init_num_resets=None, header=None, shots=None, memory=None, meas_level=None, meas_return=None, rep_delay=None, init_qubits=None, use_measure_esp=None, noise_model=None, seed_simulator=None, **run_config)

Run on the backend. If a keyword specified here is also present in the options attribute/object, the value specified here will be used for this run.


  • circuits (Union[QuantumCircuit(opens in a new tab), str, List[Union[QuantumCircuit(opens in a new tab), str]]]) – An individual or a list of QuantumCircuit.

  • dynamic (Optional[bool]) – Whether the circuit is dynamic (uses in-circuit conditionals)

  • job_tags (Optional[List[str]]) – Tags to be assigned to the job. The tags can subsequently be used as a filter in the jobs() function call.

  • init_circuit (Optional[QuantumCircuit(opens in a new tab)]) – A quantum circuit to execute for initializing qubits before each circuit. If specified, init_num_resets is ignored. Applicable only if dynamic=True is specified.

  • init_num_resets (Optional[int]) – The number of qubit resets to insert before each circuit execution.

  • or (The following parameters are applicable only if dynamic=False is specified) –

  • to. (defaulted) –

  • header (Optional[Dict]) – User input that will be attached to the job and will be copied to the corresponding result header. Headers do not affect the run. This replaces the old Qobj header.

  • shots (Union[int, float, None]) – Number of repetitions of each circuit, for sampling. Default: 4000 or max_shots from the backend configuration, whichever is smaller.

  • memory (Optional[bool]) – If True, per-shot measurement bitstrings are returned as well (provided the backend supports it). For OpenPulse jobs, only measurement level 2 supports this option.

  • meas_level (Union[int, MeasLevel, None]) –

    Level of the measurement output for pulse experiments. See OpenPulse specification(opens in a new tab) for details:

    • 0, measurements of the raw signal (the measurement output pulse envelope)
    • 1, measurement kernel is selected (a complex number obtained after applying the measurement kernel to the measurement output signal)
    • 2 (default), a discriminator is selected and the qubit state is stored (0 or 1)
  • meas_return (Union[str, MeasReturnType, None]) –

    Level of measurement data for the backend to return. For meas_level 0 and 1:

    • single returns information from every shot.
    • avg returns average measurement output (averaged over number of shots).
  • rep_delay (Optional[float]) – Delay between programs in seconds. Only supported on certain backends (if backend.configuration().dynamic_reprate_enabled=True). If supported, rep_delay must be from the range supplied by the backend (backend.configuration().rep_delay_range). Default is given by backend.configuration().default_rep_delay.

  • init_qubits (Optional[bool]) – Whether to reset the qubits to the ground state for each shot. Default: True.

  • use_measure_esp (Optional[bool]) – Whether to use excited state promoted (ESP) readout for measurements which are the terminal instruction to a qubit. ESP readout can offer higher fidelity than standard measurement sequences. See here(opens in a new tab). Default: True if backend supports ESP readout, else False. Backend support for ESP readout is determined by the flag measure_esp_enabled in backend.configuration().

  • noise_model (Optional[Any]) – Noise model. (Simulators only)

  • seed_simulator (Optional[int]) – Random seed to control sampling. (Simulators only)

  • **run_config – Extra arguments used to configure the run.

Return type



The job to be executed.




Set the options fields for the backend

This method is used to update the options of a backend. If you need to change any of the options prior to running just pass in the kwarg with the new value for the options.


fields – The fields to update the options


AttributeError – If the field passed in is not part of the options



Return the backend status.


If the returned BackendStatus(opens in a new tab) instance has operational=True but status_msg="internal", then the backend is accepting jobs but not processing them.

Return type

BackendStatus(opens in a new tab)


The status of the backend.


IBMBackendApiProtocolError – If the status for the backend cannot be formatted properly.



A qiskit.transpiler.Target(opens in a new tab) object for the backend. :rtype: Target(opens in a new tab) :returns: Target with properties found on datetime

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