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decompose_clifford(clifford, method=None)

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DEPRECATED: Decompose a Clifford operator into a QuantumCircuit.

For N <= 3 qubits this is based on optimal CX cost decomposition from reference [1]. For N > 3 qubits this is done using the general non-optimal greedy compilation routine from reference [3], which typically yields better CX cost compared to the AG method in [2].


  • clifford (Clifford) – a clifford operator.
  • method (str) – Optional, a synthesis method (‘AG’ or ‘greedy’). If set this overrides optimal decomposition for N <=3 qubits.


a circuit implementation of the Clifford.

Return type



  1. S. Bravyi, D. Maslov, Hadamard-free circuits expose the structure of the Clifford group, arXiv:2003.09412 [quant-ph](opens in a new tab)
  2. S. Aaronson, D. Gottesman, Improved Simulation of Stabilizer Circuits, Phys. Rev. A 70, 052328 (2004). arXiv:quant-ph/0406196(opens in a new tab)
  3. Sergey Bravyi, Shaohan Hu, Dmitri Maslov, Ruslan Shaydulin, Clifford Circuit Optimization with Templates and Symbolic Pauli Gates, arXiv:2105.02291 [quant-ph](opens in a new tab)
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