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Intel Announces Delivery of 17-Qubit Superconducting Chip


Today, Intel has moved forward in the delivery of a 17-Qubit superconducting chip to QuChip, Intel's quantum research partner. With the delivery of the chip, it signifies the fast progress Intel and QuTech are making in researching and developing a working quantum computing system. The new chip, in fact, itself does not hold any major breakthrough in quantum computing research. Rather, with the delivery of this new 17-Qubit chip, it marks improvements on the one of the challenges that quantum computing faces.

Qubits are the fundamental building blocks of quantum computing. In order for quantum computers to be able to produce any results (especially ones that need to be accurate), Qubits are required to be uniform and stable. 

“With this test chip, we’ll focus on connecting, controlling and measuring multiple, entangled qubits towards an error correction scheme and a logical qubit,” said professor Leo DiCarlo of QuTech. “This work will allow us to uncover new insights in quantum computing that will shape the next stage of development.” (Intel)

[caption id="attachment_4889" align="aligncenter" width="540"] The new 17Qubit Test Chip[/caption]

According to Intel, the new chip (which is about the size of a quarter) 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.

According to TechCrunch writer, Devin Coldewey, "Intel’s celebration of this particular chip is a bit arbitrary; 17 isn’t some magic number in the quantum world, nor does this chip do any special tricks other quantum computer systems can’t. Intel is just happy that its history and undeniable expertise in designing and fabricating chips and architectures is paying off in a new phase of computing." (TechCrunch)

Since Intel's partnership with QuTech began in 2015, the two companies have been making many advancements in quantum computing. With the introduction of the new chip, we can see just how much improvements have been made. Essentially, as time goes on, we can begin to see more and more stability in quantum computing. 

Sources: Intel, TechCrunch

Image Source: Intel