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Classiq flies with Rolls-Royce for classical/quantum aerospace project

By Dan O'Shea posted 24 Oct 2022

An earlier version of this story described Rolls-Royce as a luxury car maker also involved in the aerospace industry. To clarify, Rolls-Royce has not manufactured cars in many years, and is now an aerospace and defense company.

Quantum software firm Classiq announced it is working with Rolls-Royce on an aerospace project that leverages both quantum and classical computing to implement novel computational fluid dynamics (CFD) algorithms.

CFD is used in many industrial applications, and plays a significant role in improving advanced equipment design by optimizing aerodynamics and thermodynamics. But working with CFD involves complex numerical simulations of fluid and gas phenomena, and the quantum HHL algorithm, which solves a linear set of equations, can be used in a hybrid classical/quantum implementation of CFD, with the nonlinear and linear parts solved on classical and quantum hardware, respectively, according to a Classiq statement.

The statement added, “Classiq will provide an efficient implementation of the linear problem definition into the quantum circuit and will generate optimized circuits for the different quantum functions within the HHL algorithm. Using the Classiq platform, Rolls-Royce will develop state-of-the-art optimized quantum circuits for the HHL algorithm.”

Leigh Lapworth, Rolls-Royce Fellow and Quantum Computing Lead, said using Classiq’s software will help the company design, optimize, and analyze quantum algorithms that scale as it looks to run increasingly sophisticated CFD models to help the company meet its goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions (excluding product testing) by 2030. 

“Achieving our net zero carbon goals requires ongoing enhancements to the sophistication of design simulations that will continue to stretch the limits of classical supercomputing,” Lapworth said. “The potential of quantum computers to drastically reduce simulation run-times cannot be ignored and the work we’re doing today ensures we will have the capabilities to benefit from Quantum Advantage when it arrives.”

Aerospace already is proving to be a sector of rich opportunity for quantum technology companies. Just last month, Quix Quantum partnered with the German Aerospace Center, and Airbus and others also have been active.

Dan O’Shea has covered telecommunications and related topics including semiconductors, sensors, retail systems, digital payments and quantum computing/technology for over 25 years.

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