Intel Unveils Horse Ridge to Enable Commercially Viable Quantum Computers
Intel Labs unveiled what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind cryogenic control chip, code-named Horse Ridge, that will speed up development of full-stack quantum computing systems. It will enable control of multiple quantum bits (qubits) and set a clear path toward scaling larger systems. That is a major milestone on the path to quantum practicality.
Developed together with Intel’s research collaborators at QuTech, a partnership between TU Delft and TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research), Horse Ridge is fabricated using Intel’s 22nm FinFET technology. In-house fabrication of these control chips 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. With Horse Ridge, Intel has developed a scalable control system that will allow us to speed up testing and realize the potential of quantum computing,” said Jim Clarke, Intel’s director of Quantum Hardware.
In the race to realize the power and potential of quantum computers, researchers have focused extensively on qubit fabrication, building test chips that demonstrate the exponential power of a small number of qubits operating in superposition. However, in early quantum hardware developments, including design, testing and characterization of Intel’s silicon spin qubit and superconducting qubit systems, Intel identified a major bottleneck toward realizing commercial-scale quantum computing: interconnects and control electronics.