Reference plugins

Module name: pennylane.plugins

PennyLane supports a collection of built-in quantum operations and observables, including both discrete-variable (DV) operations as used in the qubit model, and continuous-variable (CV) operations as used in the qumode model of quantum computation.

Here, we provide two reference plugin implementations; one supporting qubit operations and observables ('default.qubit') and one supporting CV operations and observables ('default.gaussian').

These reference plugins provide basic built-in qubit and CV circuit simulators that can be used with PennyLane without the need for additional dependencies. They may also be used in the PennyLane test suite in order to verify and test quantum gradient computations.


When writing a plugin device for PennyLane, make sure that your plugin supports as many of the PennyLane built-in operations defined here as possible.

If the convention differs between the built-in PennyLane operation and the corresponding operation in the targeted framework, ensure that the conversion between the two conventions takes places automatically by the plugin device.