Intel Shows New Chip for Quantum Computing

A technician peers through a door at one of Intel’s fabs.				Intel

Quantum bits can be in more than one state at a time, enabling more complex work. This is the reason why the death of Moore's Law feels imminent, and why this time Moore's Law dying is not just a false alarm.

This isn't the first test chip Intel has delivered to QuTech, but its creation is apparently exciting enough for Intel to want it make it public, something it hasn't done much since this partnership kicked off.

According to QuTech, this fragility requires them to operate at about 20mK, making the packaging of qubits key to their performance and function - which is why Intel's components research group in OR and assembly test and technology development team in Arizona are pushing the limits of chip design and packaging technology.

"Our quantum research has progressed to the point where our partner QuTech is simulating quantum algorithm workloads, and Intel is fabricating qubit test chips on regular basis", said Intel Labs MD Dr Michael Mayberry.

Intel's 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing has unique features for improved connectivity and better electrical and thermo-mechanical performance. Qubits are incredibly fragile, and they require incredibly low temperatures to function - much lower than even the murky emptiness of space. These include the superconducting qubits incorporated into this newest test chip, and an alternative type called spin qubits in silicon. The spin qubits resemble electron transistors and could be built in silicon, which would allow Intel to use its existing manufacturing processes to manufacture silicon-based quantum chips, too. Unlike today's conventional devices that use the digital bits "0" and "1", quantum computers use qubits that can act as 0s, 1s or both simultaneously. It also underscores the importance of material science and semiconductor manufacturing in realizing the promise of quantum computing.

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New architecture allowing improved reliability, thermal performance, and reduced RF interference between qubits. If the future of computing is to be parallel, then Intel are throwing their weight - and bank account - in with quantum, which Intel believes offers "the ultimate in parallel computing".

"W$3 e set out with a goal of not just trying to achieve a few scientific milestones - we sort of went back to the very core first principles and said, 'What would it take to build a truly scalable quantum computer?'" Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said yesterday during his keynote address at Ignite.

By supporting massive processing and memory demands through quantum physics, quantum computers could help solve many now intractable problems from deadly diseases to climate change to IT security challenges.

For instance, an AI system wouldn't need to train against one million pictures of cats to be able to identify a new cat with high-accuracy.

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