Intel Ships 17-Qubit Quantum Computing Chip
Ashley Allen / 3 years ago
Intel is getting the jump on its quantum computing competitors by launching a new 17-qubit superconducting chip. Previously, quantum processors remained the preserve of computer labs. However, Intel shipped the new chip to Intel partner QuTech. The chip itself isn’t revolutionary, but it marks the first quantum processor shipment. QuTech will use the chip to research qubit use and develop effective error correction.
Quantum Computing – Don’t Look Now
It’s a strange field, quantum computing. Unlike conventional CPUs, quantum computing processors exposed to noise or accidentally observed tend to lose data. To support functionality, chips operate at near absolute zero. As Intel puts it:
“Qubits are tremendously fragile: Any noise or unintended observation of them can cause data loss. This fragility requires them to operate at about 20 millikelvin – 250 times colder than deep space. This extreme operating environment makes the packaging of qubits key to their performance and function. Intel’s Components Research Group (CR) in Oregon and Assembly Test and Technology Development (ATTD) teams in Arizona are pushing the limits of chip design and packaging technology to address quantum computing’s unique challenges.”
Intel’s 17-Qubit Chip – Key Features
- New architecture allowing improved reliability, thermal performance and reduced radio frequency (RF) interference between qubits.
- A scalable interconnect scheme that allows for 10 to 100 times more signals into and out of the chip as compared to wirebonded chips.
- Advanced processes, materials and designs that enable Intel’s packaging to scale for quantum integrated circuits, which are much larger than conventional silicon chips.