Quantum computing breakthrough improves fuel efficiency of jet engines

NVIDIA, Rolls-Royce and Classiq have achieved a quantum computing breakthrough aimed at improving the efficiency of jet engines.

Using NVIDIA’s quantum computing platform, the companies have designed and simulated the world’s largest quantum computing circuit for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) — a circuit that measures 10 million layers deep with 39 qubits. Rolls-Royce is using GPUs to prepare for a quantum future despite the limitations of today’s quantum computers, which only support circuits a few layers deep.

The aviation industry leader plans to use the new circuit on its journey to quantum advantage in CFD for modeling the performance of jet engine designs in simulations that use both classical and quantum computing methods. Such breakthroughs are important in its work to build state-of-the-art jet engines that support the energy transition with more sustainable aviation.

“Applying both classical and quantum computing methods directly to the challenge of designing jet engines will help us accelerate our processes and perform more sophisticated calculations,” said Leigh Lapworth, Computational Science Fellow of Rolls-Royce.

Rolls-Royce and Classiq designed the circuit using Classiq’s synthesis engine, then simulated it using NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs. The speed and scale of the process was made possible by NVIDIA cuQuantum, a software development kit that includes optimised libraries and tools to speed up quantum computing workflows.

“Designing jet engines, which are one of the most complicated devices on earth, is expensive and computationally challenging. NVIDIA’s quantum computing platform gives Rolls-Royce a potential path to tackle these problems head-on while accelerating its research and future development of more efficient jet engines,” said Ian Buck, Vice President of Hyperscale and HPC at NVIDIA.

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