(TechTarget) Nvidia built a development platform with CalTech for simulating quantum circuits on GPU-accelerated systems. The companies used a newly minted SDK called cuQuantum to simulate quantum circuits that run on its Nvidia A100 Tensor Core GPUs.
The testing generated a sample from a full circuit simulation of the Google Sycamore circuit in a little over nine minutes on Nvidia’s Selene supercomputer — something that would normally take days and millions of CPU cores.
However, Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang estimated that for quantum computers to solve meaningful, real world problems would require systems containing several million physical qubits, which allows such systems to deliver adequate error correction.
“The research community is making fast progress, doubling physical qubits every year,” Huang said. “But even with that progress, we likely will not achieve that milestone [solving real world problems] until 2035 to 2040. But in the mean time we can best help the quantum researchers trying to create the computer of the future by creating the fastest [classical] system today.”
Development of applications for quantum systems has stalled of late, with one of the primary reasons being a lack of horse power available on classical systems responsible for simulating quantum circuits, according to Huang. He believes cuQuantum SDK and Nvidia A100 Tensor Core GPUs can remedy that.
Huang stated strongly that Nvidia has no intention of producing a full-blown quantum system, but said he believes that ultimately, GPU-accelerated platforms are the most suited best for quantum circuit and algorithm development testing. He said there are about 50 teams around the world among vendors, academia and national laboratories building or researching quantum circuit algorithms and applications and Nvidia is working with many of them.
“We will deal with anyone doing quantum circuit simulation,” Huang said. “You need simulators to test and validate the hardware as you are building out solutions. Testing is a critical part of simulating quantum environments.”
The cuQUantum SDK consists of libraries and tools that accelerate quantum computing workflows. Developers can use the development kit to speed up quantum circuit simulations based on state vector, density matrix and tensor network methods by several orders of magnitude, Nvidia said.

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