The first Intel quantum processor is ready

Also Intel enters the arena of quantum computing. The Santa Clara company has indeed developed its first quantum processor. Is called Tunnel Falls and seems to take its name from a waterfall that is geographically close to the plant located in the state of Oregon (USA), where the headquarters of the team of experts who deal with quantum computers have been established.

Intel Tunnel Falls is a chip a 12 qubit, a value that places the computational device well below the current “standards” presented by the main competitors. Just think that in November 2022 IBM unveiled its 433-qubit Osprey quantum processor claiming it wants to reach the 4,000-qubit mark by 2025.

What are the qubits of a quantum processor and why only “the salt” of quantum computing

Qubits are the quantum equivalent of bits in classical computing. While bits can only have two states, 0 or 1, qubits also have one superposition of statesallowing for the simultaneous representation of multiple combinations of 0s and 1s. This is what gives them revolutionary potential in quantum computing.

Furthermore, qubits can be “intertwined” with each other. That means it state of a qubit it may depend on the state of other qubits. This phenomenon of quantum correlation allows quantum computing to perform parallel operations on a large number of states efficiently, potentially providing greater computing speed and capacity than traditional computers.

The importance of qubits in quantum computing derives from these property unique. The ability of qubits to exist in overlap and to intertwine with each other allows the quantum computers to carry out complex operations in parallel and explore a wide range of solutions simultaneously. We have seen how many and which problems a quantum computer solves: algorithms that are in fact unthinkable to use with classical computers, will become increasingly current and “practical” with quantum computers in the future.

The race to build a quantum processor with more qubits intersects with the cloud

The race for qubits it was triggered by the promise of technologies that could surpass the capabilities of classical computers in certain types of calculations. Such as those described in the article mentioned above. The creation of scalable quantum systems and accessible requires significant computing power and specialized resources.

Il cloud computing it provides that scalable and flexible infrastructure that large companies, research centers, teams of scientists and professionals already expect to be able to use today. Companies working on the development of quantum computers are therefore investing in the creation of cloud services for accessing the quantum computing platforms at a distance. By combining multiple quantum processors on the cloud, it is possible to have powerful systems with a large number of exploitable qubits for the most complex calculations.

Intel presents its vision on quantum computing: here is the company’s first quantum processor

Jim Clarke, head of Intel’s quantum computing division, explains that the company led by Pat Gelsinger has taken a slightly different approach. At the moment the goal is not to participate in the race to increase the number of qubits but to try to build silicon-based qubits. According to the vision described by Clarke, the company intends to take advantage of the developments on which the rest of the Intel staff is engaging. The ultimate goal is to “ride” what the industry CMOS has done for years. To implement next-generation quantum computers, Intel wants to change as little as possible at the level of silicon chip.

The relationship between qubits and quantum dots

I quantum dots, or quantum dots, are tiny semiconductor objects that can capture and release single electrons. I am three-dimensional structures which can be created within semiconductor materials. These materials are handled a atomic level to create “traps” useful for capturing an individual electron. Qubits are based precisely on quantum dots to represent their state.

Intel uses its experience in the silicon chip manufacturing to create quantum dots and develop the “skills” needed to set and read the state of each qubit. While most of Intel’s competitors focus solely on building a community of software developers, Intel is simultaneously trying to develop a community that helps them improve their hardware. To form a vibrant, knowledgeable and proactive community, Intel will send the processors Tunnel Falls to some universities: starting with the academic poles of Maryland, Rochester, Wisconsin, with the Sandia National Lab but the program will be open to many other realities. Intel hopes that academic researchers will help the company identify the main sources of error and which forms of qubits provide the best performance.

The image proposed at the beginning is from Intel.

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