Intel on the 15th announced the latest quantum processor called “Tunnel Falls”, which is a 12-qubit (quantum bit, qubit) silicon chip, which is a key step in Intel’s attempt to develop computing hardware that surpasses competitors.
Intel produces its own quantum chips at its D1 manufacturing facility in Oregon, USA, using advanced transistor manufacturing capabilities such as extreme ultraviolet light (EUV) on 300mm wafers.
In silicon spin qubits, information (0/1) is encoded in the spin (up/down) of a single electron. Each qubit is essentially a transistor, which allows Intel to manufacture it using a process similar to standard CMOS production lines.
“Leveraging Intel’s decades of expertise in transistor design and fabrication, Tunnel Falls is Intel’s most advanced silicon spin qubit chip to date,” said Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware at Intel.
While Intel still has some fundamental questions and challenges that must be addressed on the path to fault-tolerant quantum computers, academia can now explore the technology and accelerate research and development, rather than being delayed by developing its own computing equipment today.
Intel is collaborating with the University of Maryland’s Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS) to advance quantum computing research. Intel also revealed that it is already developing a next-generation quantum chip based on Tunnel Falls, which is expected to be published in 2024.