Intel says it delivered a 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing to QuTech, the company’s quantum research partner in the Netherlands.

Qubits are tremendously fragile: Any noise or unintended observation of them can cause data loss. This fragility requires them to operate at about 20 millikelvin – 250 times colder than deep space – according to Intel. The company’s Components Research Group (CR) in Oregon and Assembly Test and Technology Development (ATTD) teams in Arizona, were involved in the chip design.

“Our quantum research has progressed to the point where our partner QuTech is simulating quantum algorithm workloads, and Intel is fabricating new qubit test chips on a regular basis in our leading-edge manufacturing facilities,” said Dr. Michael Mayberry, corporate vice president and managing director of Intel Labs.

Intel says it is investigating multiple qubit types; including the superconducting qubits incorporated into this newest test chip, and an alternative type called spin qubits in silicon. The spin qubits resemble a single electron transistor, similar in many ways to conventional transistors, and can potentially be manufactured with comparable processes according to the company.

[Image courtesy: Intel]