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Intel collaborate with QuTech to outline new quantum control chip

Intel has collaborated with QuTech this week, to outline key technical features of a new cryogenic quantum control chip codenamed “Horse Ridge” through a research paper unveiled at the International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco.

The research paper released by Intel and QuTech details features of the Horse Ridge chip that addresses a number of challenges faced in building a quantum computer that is powerful enough to demonstrate practicality, flexibility, fidelity and scalability. The integrated SoC design uses Intel’s 22nm FinFET Low Power CMOS technology with four integrated RF channels in a single device.

Each channel is capable of controlling up to 32 qubits and divides the total bandwidth into a series of non-overlapping frequency bands, meaning Horse Ridge can potentially control up to 128 qubits in a single device for efficient scaling. Intel has also optimised the multiplexing technology, to enable the system to scale and reduce errors from “Phase Shift” which helps quantum systems to automatically adapt and correct when controlling multiple qubits with the same RF line to improve fidelity.

“Quantum researchers work with just a small number of qubits, using smaller, custom-designed systems surrounded by complex control and interconnect mechanisms. Intel's Horse Ridge greatly minimizes this complexity. By systematically working to scale to thousands of qubits required for quantum practicality,” said Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware, Intel Labs.

Horse Ridge is capable of covering a wide range of frequencies which means it can control both superconducting qubits and spin qubits. Intel is exploring ways to use silicon spin qubits that have the potential to operate at high temperatures up to 1 kelvin. This research will allow devices to integrate silicon spin qubits into Horse Ridge to create a solution that delivers the qubits and controls in one package for improved flexibility.

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KitGuru says: This new technology from Intel could greatly simplify the complex electronics required to operate quantum computing systems in the future, allowing a faster setup time and improved efficiency. What do you guys think of Intel and QuTech’s Horse Ridge design?

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