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Intel’s New Path to Quantum Computing


Photo: Amy Nordrum

Despite a comparatively late start, Intel is progressing quickly along the road to a useful quantum computer. The company’s director of quantum hardware, Jim Clarke, came by IEEE Spectrum’s offices on 9 May to prove it. He brought with him samples of two technologies that show why the chip fabrication powerhouse can make a unique contribution to the quest for exponentially-faster computing. The first was a Tangle Lake, a specially packaged chip containing 49-superconducting qubits that Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, showed off at CES in January. The other was something new: a full silicon wafer of test chips, each containing up to 26-qubits that rely on the spins of individual electrons. The first of these wafers arrived at Delft University of Technology, in The Netherlands, that day for testing. Clarke’s group can make 5 such wafers per week, meaning that Intel has probably now made more qubit “devices than have ever been made in the world of quantum computing.”

Jim Clarke on…