In qiskit we can simply define a custom unitary $U$ and get its controlled version $C-U$ with the method .control(). So, is there a way to do the same in AWS Braket??


2 Answers 2


I'm not sure that there yet exists a way to do this. What you could do is define your own control gate. For example:

import numpy as np

import itertools

import braket.ir.jaqcd as ir
from braket.circuits import Circuit, Instruction, Gate, circuit
from braket.circuits.gates import Unitary
from braket.circuits.qubit_set import QubitSet
class C(Gate):
    """Controlled gate
        sub_gate (Gate): Quantum Gate.
        targets (QubitSet): Target qubits.

    def __init__(self, sub_gate: Gate, targets: QubitSet):
        self.sub_gate = sub_gate
        qubit_count = len(targets)
        sub_qubit_count = sub_gate.qubit_count
        self._num_controls = qubit_count - sub_qubit_count
        self._controls = targets[: self._num_controls]
        ascii_symbols = ["C"] * self._num_controls + list(self.sub_gate.ascii_symbols)

        super().__init__(qubit_count=qubit_count, ascii_symbols=ascii_symbols)

    def _extend_matrix(self, sub_matrix: np.ndarray) -> np.ndarray:
        qid_shape = (2,) * self.qubit_count
        control_values = ((1,),) * self._num_controls
        sub_n = len(qid_shape) - self._num_controls
        tensor = np.eye(np.prod(qid_shape, dtype=np.int64).item(), dtype=sub_matrix.dtype)
        tensor.shape = qid_shape * 2
        sub_tensor = sub_matrix.reshape(qid_shape[self._num_controls :] * 2)
        for control_vals in itertools.product(*control_values):
            active = (*(v for v in control_vals), *(slice(None),) * sub_n) * 2
            tensor[active] = sub_tensor
        return tensor.reshape((np.prod(qid_shape, dtype=np.int64).item(),) * 2)

    def to_matrix(self, *args, **kwargs) -> np.ndarray:  # pylint: disable=unused-argument
        """Returns a matrix representation of the quantum operator
            np.ndarray: A matrix representation of the quantum operator
        sub_matrix = self.sub_gate.to_matrix()
        return self._extend_matrix(sub_matrix)

    def to_ir(self, target: QubitSet):
        """Returns IR object of quantum operator and target
            target (QubitSet): target qubit(s)
            IR object of the quantum operator and target
        return ir.Unitary.construct(

    def __eq__(self, other):
        if isinstance(other, C):
            return self.matrix_equivalence(other)
        return NotImplemented

    def _transform_matrix_to_ir(matrix: np.ndarray):
        return [[[element.real, element.imag] for element in row] for row in matrix.tolist()]

    def c(targets: QubitSet, sub_gate: Gate) -> Instruction:
        """Registers this function into the circuit class.
            targets (QubitSet): Target qubits.
            sub_gate (Gate): Quantum Gate.
            Instruction: Controlled Gate Instruction.
        return Instruction(C(sub_gate, targets), target=targets)


First, defining a unitary matrix and gathering its dimension:

>>> matrix = np.array([[1, 0], [0, -1]])
>>> nqubits = int(np.log2(len(matrix)))

Next, adding the unitary gate to a circuit with no control:

>>> targets = list(range(nqubits))
>>> circ = Circuit().unitary(matrix=matrix, targets=targets)
>>> print(circ)
T  : |0|
q0 : -U-

T  : |0|

Finally, adding the unitary gate to a circuit with the control gate that we defined above:

>>> targets = list(range(nqubits+1))
>>> circ = Circuit().c(sub_gate=Unitary(matrix), targets=targets)
>>> print(circ)
T  : |0|
q0 : -C-
q1 : -U-

T  : |0|

Hopefully, in the future, there will be a more elegant way. But for now, this is my approach.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If I have a matrix, then it's fine, but what if I have U as a Circuit, and I want its control gate? Because `as_unitary()' method of AWS Braket Circuit class would slow down after 10 qubits. So is there a way I could directly get the controlled version of U from that circuit itself?? $\endgroup$
    – Jay Shah
    Aug 3, 2022 at 18:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's no Braket feature that explicitly does this, and I'm not familiar enough with their codebase to think of a workaround that wouldn't involve as_unitary or to_unitary. Your best bet is probably to go look at how qiskit implements their control method and see if you can map their procedure over to Braket in a similar way. $\endgroup$
    – ryanhill1
    Aug 3, 2022 at 18:40

Update: as of version 1.40.0, amazon-braket-sdk supports control and power modifiers. To make a controlled operation, use the control argument; for example, to attach a controlled-Hadamard gate with two control qubits to a circuit:

circ = Circuit().h(2, control=[0, 1])

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