Global chipmaker Intel has revealed information about its 12-qubit Tunnel Falls silicon chip, which it says “marks the next step towards building a full commercial quantum computing system.”
This is a move that represents the company’s first silicon qubit device that the company has made available to the research community, so while it may not be a full production chip for quantum computing in your area anytime soon, it is a significant milestone in the company’s timeline for commercialization future technology.
With Tunnel Falls, Intel hopes that specific “R&D partners” will be able to work on research rather than focusing on developing their own devices. The company also calls out academic institutions for simply not having the “large-scale production equipment” they have.
Intel is one step closer to commercializing quantum computing
The company emphasizes that “qubits can run simultaneously in multiple states, enabling unprecedented levels of parallelism and computational efficiency,” making them well-suited for high-performance computing in sectors such as cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.
Silicon spinning qubits, such as Tunnel Falls, work by encoding information (0 and 1) as a single electron spins, which Intel says makes them superior to other competing qubit technologies due to their synergy with transistors.
The chip maker said, “Being the size of a transistor, they are up to 1 million times smaller than other types of qubits measuring around 50 nanometers by 50 nanometers,” which it hopes will unleash the potential for efficient scaling.
This example serves as a pointer to Intel’s direction, which is already working on a next-generation quantum chip to be based on Tunnel Falls, which should be with us as early as 2024.