Intel unveils cryogenic control chip for quantum practicality

Intel Labs introduced a cryogenic control chip — code-named “Horse Ridge” — that will speed up the development of full-stack quantum computing systems. Horse Ridge will enable control of multiple quantum bits (qubits) with a view to scale larger systems in pursuit of quantum computing commercialization.

The chip was developed with Intel’s research collaborators at QuTech, a partnership between TU Delft and TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research). In-house fabrication of these control chips at Intel will dramatically accelerate the company’s ability to design, test and optimize a commercially viable quantum computer.

“While there has been a lot of emphasis on the qubits themselves, the ability to control many qubits at the same time had been a challenge for the industry. Intel recognized that quantum controls were an essential piece of the puzzle we needed to solve in order to develop a large-scale commercial quantum system. That’s why we are investing in quantum error correction and controls. With Horse Ridge, Intel has developed a scalable control system that will allow us to significantly speed up testing and realize the potential of quantum computing,” said Jim Clarke, Intel’s director of Quantum Hardware.

Quantum computers are expected to tackle problems that conventional computers can’t handle by leveraging a phenomenon of quantum physics that allows qubits to exist in multiple states simultaneously. As a result, qubits can conduct a large number of calculations at the same time — dramatically speeding up complex problem-solving.

The quantum research community is still at mile one of a marathon toward demonstrating quantum practicality, a benchmark against which the quantum research community can determine whether a quantum system can have superior performance over classical computers to solve real-world problems. Intel´s investment in quantum computing covers the full hardware and software stack in pursuit of the development and commercialization of a practical, commercially viable quantum system.

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