Thursday, October 12th 2017

Intel Delivers 17-qubit Superconducting Chip with Advanced Packaging to QuTech

Today, Intel announced the delivery of a 17-qubit superconducting test chip for quantum computing to QuTech, Intel's quantum research partner in the Netherlands. The new chip was fabricated by Intel and features a unique design to achieve improved yield and performance. The delivery of this chip demonstrates the fast progress Intel and QuTech are making in researching and developing a working quantum computing system. It also underscores the importance of material science and semiconductor manufacturing in realizing the promise of quantum computing.

Quantum computing, in essence, is the ultimate in parallel computing, with the potential to tackle problems conventional computers can't handle. For example, quantum computers may simulate nature to advance research in chemistry, materials science and molecular modeling - like helping to create a new catalyst to sequester carbon dioxide, or create a room temperature superconductor or discover new drugs. However, despite much experimental progress and speculation, there are inherent challenges to building viable, large-scale quantum systems that produce accurate outputs. Making qubits (the building blocks of quantum computing) uniform and stable is one such obstacle.
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. This extreme operating environment makes the packaging of qubits key to their performance and function. Intel's Components Research Group (CR) in Oregon and Assembly Test and Technology Development (ATTD) teams in Arizona are pushing the limits of chip design and packaging technology to address quantum computing's unique challenges.

About the size of a quarter (in a package about the size of a half-dollar coin), the new 17-qubit test chip's improved design features include:
  • New architecture allowing improved reliability, thermal performance and reduced radio frequency (RF) interference between qubits.
  • A scalable interconnect scheme that allows for 10 to 100 times more signals into and out of the chip as compared to wirebonded chips.
  • Advanced processes, materials and designs that enable Intel's packaging to scale for quantum integrated circuits, which are much larger than conventional silicon chips.
"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's expertise in fabrication, control electronics and architecture sets us apart and will serve us well as we venture into new computing paradigms, from neuromorphic to quantum computing."

Intel's collaborative relationship with QuTech to accelerate advancements in quantum computing began in 2015. Since that time, the collaboration has achieved many milestones - from demonstrating key circuit blocks for an integrated cryogenic-CMOS control system to developing a spin qubit fabrication flow on Intel's 300mm process technology and developing this unique packaging solution for superconducting qubits. Through this partnership, the time from design and fabrication to test has been greatly accelerated.

"With this test chip, we'll focus on connecting, controlling and measuring multiple, entangled qubits towards an error correction scheme and a logical qubit," said professor Leo DiCarlo of QuTech. "This work will allow us to uncover new insights in quantum computing that will shape the next stage of development."


Advancing the Quantum Computing System
Intel and QuTech's work in quantum computing goes beyond the development and testing of superconducting qubit devices. The collaboration spans the entire quantum system - or "stack" - from qubit devices to the hardware and software architecture required to control these devices as well as quantum applications. All of these elements are essential to advancing quantum computing from research to reality.

Also, unlike others, Intel is investigating multiple qubit types. These include the superconducting qubits incorporated into this newest test chip, and an alternative type called spin qubits in silicon. These spin qubits resemble a single electron transistor similar in many ways to conventional transistors and potentially able to be manufactured with comparable processes.

While quantum computers promise greater efficiency and performance to handle certain problems, they won't replace the need for conventional computing or other emerging technologies like neuromorphic computing. We'll need the technical advances that Moore's law delivers in order to invent and scale these emerging technologies.

Intel is investing not only to invent new ways of computing, but also to advance the foundation of Moore's Law, which makes this future possible.
Add your own comment

47 Comments on Intel Delivers 17-qubit Superconducting Chip with Advanced Packaging to QuTech

#1
Toothless
Makes one wonder how these things would become a household item with that extreme cooling needed.
Posted on Reply
#2
RejZoR
Toothless said:
Makes one wonder how these things would become a household item with that extreme cooling needed.
We'll find a way eventually. I mean, just remember the first "supercomputers" that were the size of a large room. And now every smartphone has 500x the compute power of those and we carry them in our pockets. Someone saying we'd carry all that power in our pocket was something unthinkable back then. And same goes for this stuff. It's unthinkable how we'd ever get these into our homes and I'm pretty sure in 50 years time, quantum computers will become a possibility for home usage. I'm not expecting them go the transition of room sized computers to smartphones, but it'll happen. I mean, quantum computers harness immense compute power, but only for certain things. For others, good old standard processors are still faster and more convenient.
Posted on Reply
#3
Toothless
RejZoR said:
We'll find a way eventually. I mean, just remember the first "supercomputers" that were the size of a large room. And now every smartphone has 500x the compute power of those and we carry them in our pockets. Someone saying we'd carry all that power in our pocket was something unthinkable back then. And same goes for this stuff. It's unthinkable how we'd ever get these into our homes and I'm pretty sure in 50 years time, quantum computers will become a possibility for home usage. I'm not expecting them go the transition of room sized computers to smartphones, but it'll happen. I mean, quantum computers harness immense compute power, but only for certain things. For others, good old standard processors are still faster and more convenient.
A quantum chip made for WCG would be pretty cool.
Posted on Reply
#4
RejZoR
That's where quantum computers are actually the best. At least from knowing Rosetta@home, but WCG is basically the same thing. For normal CPU's it's a brute force computing, for quantum computers, it's "going with the flow". It doesn't brute try every possibility, it "naturally" goes into the right direction as it computes data. I just realized how hard it is to explain quantum computers lol XD
Posted on Reply
#5
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
RejZoR said:
We'll find a way eventually. I mean, just remember the first "supercomputers" that were the size of a large room. And now every smartphone has 500x the compute power of those and we carry them in our pockets. Someone saying we'd carry all that power in our pocket was something unthinkable back then. And same goes for this stuff. It's unthinkable how we'd ever get these into our homes and I'm pretty sure in 50 years time, quantum computers will become a possibility for home usage. I'm not expecting them go the transition of room sized computers to smartphones, but it'll happen. I mean, quantum computers harness immense compute power, but only for certain things. For others, good old standard processors are still faster and more convenient.
Cooling is a different matter though. 20 millikelvin is -273.13C, just 0.2C from absolute zero. We have to get around that if they ever are to be household items.
Posted on Reply
#6
evernessince
RejZoR said:
We'll find a way eventually. I mean, just remember the first "supercomputers" that were the size of a large room. And now every smartphone has 500x the compute power of those and we carry them in our pockets. Someone saying we'd carry all that power in our pocket was something unthinkable back then. And same goes for this stuff. It's unthinkable how we'd ever get these into our homes and I'm pretty sure in 50 years time, quantum computers will become a possibility for home usage. I'm not expecting them go the transition of room sized computers to smartphones, but it'll happen. I mean, quantum computers harness immense compute power, but only for certain things. For others, good old standard processors are still faster and more convenient.
It's not really a "we'll find a way" sort of thing. Cooling something to that required temperature requires a massive amount of energy. It's not as simple as replacing vacuum tubes. Unfortunately this isn't overwatch were Mei can just invent an ice gun, we have been looking for ways to cool things better for a long time and especially since cold fusion has been around. Apparently if we solve qbits we also solve nearly every other problem the human race has.
Posted on Reply
#7
Boosnie
evernessince said:
It's not really a "we'll find a way" sort of thing. Cooling something to that required temperature requires a massive amount of energy. It's not as simple as replacing vacuum tubes. Unfortunately this isn't overwatch were Mei can just invent an ice gun, we have been looking for ways to cool things better for a long time and especially since cold fusion has been around. Apparently if we solve qbits we also solve nearly every other problem the human race has.
Yeah, but the process here is different.
they cool down the qbits to have the most possible stable environment around them. being Interaction between particles destructive from the perspective of information, you need to be sure things are as still as possible.
That said, advancement in insulation materials and quantum error prediction will eventually bring the need for cooling down to acceptable levels. Those advancement will be none the less driven by the use of Quantum Computing Algorithms in chemistry and physics.
That said, I'm not really sure what usage a quantum computer has in a houshold aside from a chip that secures transactions and communications between endpoints. We'll see what will it be.
Posted on Reply
#8
RejZoR
And yet so did rooms filled with vacuum tubes. They required tons of power, were clumsy and hard to maintain. And here we are. We are doing same thing faster and at smaller size because we're using different means to achieve that (transistors vs vacuum tubes). Who says the current use of quantum states is the best implementation? Maybe what we have now is the equivalent of vacuum tubes of the past and we'll find a way better method of controlling electrons than with brute cooling force. Saying that's not possibility would be an insane statement, discarding hundreds and thousands of years of our scientific, technical, chemical and mechanical breakthroughs.
Posted on Reply
#9
bug
Frick said:
Cooling is a different matter though. 20 millikelvin is -273.13C, just 0.2C from absolute zero. We have to get around that if they ever are to be household items.
First computers weren't using transistors from the beginning. Maybe these don't need to stay at 20 mK forever either?

Or maybe we build a bunch of those, place them in special facilities and only tap into their computing power the way we tap into the cloud today?
Posted on Reply
#10
Mirkoskji
Toothless said:
Makes one wonder how these things would become a household item with that extreme cooling needed.
Do you think quantum processors will be useful in normal household applications? because from what I learnt these calculators find their usefulness in scientific research. I mean, for normal computation a common chip does everything needed and even more. they are really specific, not general purpose
Posted on Reply
#11
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
bug said:
First computers weren't using transistors from the beginning. Maybe these don't need to stay at 20 mK forever either?
Manipulating qubits reliably in room temperature is a very, very big hurdle, but yes.
Or maybe we build a bunch of those, place them in special facilities and only tap into their computing power the way we tap into the cloud today?
That's the way I've always seen it. Quantum computers aren't better in every area, and not all tasks are suitable for them, on a basic conceptual level. For home circuitry other newfangled things will be used, I think. OTOH what they do better they do massively better, so when/if they finally come in a usable form I assume we'll adapt a lot of our dataflows to suit them.
Posted on Reply
#12
Basard
Maybe I'm living under a rock or something, but I've yet to see any of these quantum computers actually "doing" anything. Anybody have a link?
Posted on Reply
#13
Bytales
There is always a way to circumvent the lawz of physics.
Nature and biology has tought us that.

For instance oil doesnt disolve in water, but biology has a way to disolve oil in water.

Imagine someone comes to you, and asks you to build a computer, where the power delivery system also cools the Computer. You would say, you are completly insane, that is IMPOSSIBLE. There is no way the power cables can cool the processor, they themselves get hot.
Well gues what, nature has allready done it, Blood is a liquid that provides energy and cooling in the same package. Blood provides energy, blood cools the System. Isn't that exactly what i have asked you to Imagine in the first place ? It is but totally different aproach to the matter is required to achieve what i have as you.

Same will be with Quantum Computers also. A tottally new aproach is required to solve the cooling Problem, maybe some advances and new knowledge in Quantum physics that makes cooling obsolete.

Nobody every imagined that an object heavier than air can fly, yet that is something trivial today, we can fly objects which weigh tens if not hundred of tonnes.

Speed of light cannot be surpassed, yet there is even a way to circumvent the unsurpassable speed of light to move between distance Point of space by shifting the ship in a nonspace /nontime Dimension, and exit it Trillion of light years away from the entry Point, in just couple of miliseconds worth of time. How do you imagine there are millions of space faring civilization in our galaxy alone ? If all of them were to say, ist imposible to travel faster than light, they would have all been limited to their home solar System.

Nobody ever imagined 100 years ago we could communicate in real time between continents, yet every one can do it today using cell phones

In a similar manner we believe no communication can ocur faster than the Speed of light. But even this can be circumvented, as a matter of fact distance doesnt matter in the sligthest when using the said method, it can be 10 light years, or 10^600 light years distance - which is more than the radius of our universe which has a radius of 2.4x10^64Ly. Even though Speed of light cannot be surpassed, there is a way, and even if you may believe it or not, it is biological in nature.

Once incredible fact to realize is that even if you were to move at the Speed of light, you would not have enough time the whole life of the universe to cover ist radius. Our universe is 46.000 Billion years old, and will only exist for 155500 Billion of years after which it will implode.

Given enough knowledge, every obstacle can be surpassed. Regardless of how impossible it may seem. Make no mistake about that. And in regard to this can be said, that really there is no such Thing as impossible, but only inssuficient knowledge.

Shit: I realized am couple of years to soon with my posting, we still havent discovered FTL travel and communication, but i will leave the info non the less, as an exercise in thought.
Posted on Reply
#15
Boosnie
Bytales said:
There is always a way to circumvent the lawz of physics.
Nature and biology has tought us that.

For instance oil doesnt disolve in water, but biology has a way to disolve oil in water.

Imagine someone comes to you, and asks you to build a computer, where the power delivery system also cools the Computer. You would say, you are completly insane, that is IMPOSSIBLE. There is no way the power cables can cool the processor, they themselves get hot.
Well gues what, nature has allready done it, Blood is a liquid that provides energy and cooling in the same package. Blood provides energy, blood cools the System. Isn't that exactly what i have asked you to Imagine in the first place ? It is but totally different aproach to the matter is required to achieve what i have as you.

Same will be with Quantum Computers also. A tottally new aproach is required to solve the cooling Problem, maybe some advances and new knowledge in Quantum physics that makes cooling obsolete.

Nobody every imagined that an object heavier than air can fly, yet that is something trivial today, we can fly objects which weigh tens if not hundred of tonnes.

Speed of light cannot be surpassed, yet there is even a way to circumvent the unsurpassable speed of light to move between distance Point of space by shifting the ship in a nonspace /nontime Dimension, and exit it Trillion of light years away from the entry Point, in just couple of miliseconds worth of time. How do you imagine there are millions of space faring civilization in our galaxy alone ? If all of them were to say, ist imposible to travel faster than light, they would have all been limited to their home solar System.

Nobody ever imagined 100 years ago we could communicate in real time between continents, yet every one can do it today using cell phones

In a similar manner we believe no communication can ocur faster than the Speed of light. But even this can be circumvented, as a matter of fact distance doesnt matter in the sligthest when using the said method, it can be 10 light years, or 10^600 light years distance - which is more than the radius of our universe which has a radius of 2.4x10^64Ly. Even though Speed of light cannot be surpassed, there is a way, and even if you may believe it or not, it is biological in nature.

Once incredible fact to realize is that even if you were to move at the Speed of light, you would not have enough time the whole life of the universe to cover ist radius. Our universe is 46.000 Billion years old, and will only exist for 155500 Billion of years after which it will implode.

Given enough knowledge, every obstacle can be surpassed. Regardless of how impossible it may seem. Make no mistake about that. And in regard to this can be said, that really there is no such Thing as impossible, but only inssuficient knowledge.

Shit: I realized am couple of years to soon with my posting, we still havent discovered FTL travel and communication, but i will leave the info non the less, as an exercise in thought.
Dude, I am truly flattened by the amount of inconsistency with modern literature and basic fact checking your post has. This, or you are a not so subtle troll.
Posted on Reply
#16
Vya Domus
Frick said:
Manipulating qubits reliably in room temperature is a very, very big hurdle, but yes.
More like impossible actually. It's unlikely that these things will ever operate outside controlled environments.

And temperature it's not even the only concern , these things also need an insane amount of insulation against electrical noise for the connections that carry the analogue signals.
Posted on Reply
#17
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
Intel is way behind D-Wave (by like 2000 qubits) but I'm at least glad D-Wave has some competition now. D-Wave Systems run at 0.015 K; Intel's is substantially warmer.
Posted on Reply
#18
bug
Vya Domus said:
More like impossible actually. It's unlikely that these things will ever operate outside controlled environments.

And temperature it's not even the only concern , these things also need an insane amount of insulation against electrical noise for connections that carry the analogue signals.
Flight was impossible for millennia ;)
But yes, this may be "a tad" harder than that.

FordGT90Concept said:
Intel is way behind D-Wave (by like 2000 qubits) but I'm at least glad D-Wave has some competition now. D-Wave Systems run at 0.015 K; Intel's is substantially warmer.
Well, if you know where qubits are (on the chip), maybe you can't reliably tell how many are there. (Not really, but I couldn't resist.)
Posted on Reply
#19
Vya Domus
bug said:
Flight was impossible for millennia ;)
Except flight wasn't about dealing with the fundamental properties of matter. Physics do have their limits , there are things that are in fact impossible/unfeasible and no matter the technological advancement they will remain that way.

bug said:

But yes, this may be a tad harder than that.
Flight was hard , this though it's much more than that.
Posted on Reply
#20
Mirkoskji
flight is create a depression under a surface. deliver a qbit is to isolate a qbit from environmental energy that interacts with it, destroying the data content and rendering it useless.
Posted on Reply
#21
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
FordGT90Concept said:
Intel is way behind D-Wave (by like 2000 qubits) but I'm at least glad D-Wave has some competition now. D-Wave Systems run at 0.015 K; Intel's is substantially warmer.
Ahh, and here we have the meaty discussion of "what is a quantum computer anyway?" I believe D-Wave and Intel approach the topic from vastly different directions.
Posted on Reply
#22
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
A qubit is very well defined, like a bit. A bit is true or false while a qubit is true, false, or both. They may take different approaches to creating a quantum processor but a qubit is a qubit. Intel could have a vastly higher cycle rate than D-Wave does but, at this point, I doubt it.
Posted on Reply
#23
bug
FordGT90Concept said:
A qubit is very well defined, like a bit. A bit is true or false while a qubit is true, false, or both. They may take different approaches to creating a quantum processor but a qubit is a qubit. Intel could have a vastly higher cycle rate than D-Wave does but, at this point, I doubt it.
By the same logic, a nm is nm. Except when Samsung or TSMC measures it ;)
Posted on Reply
#24
OSdevr
On the subject of cooling there are already devices called cryocoolers that are the size of a small thermos and can reach cryogenic temperatures.
Posted on Reply
#25
ty_ger
Basard said:
Maybe I'm living under a rock or something, but I've yet to see any of these quantum computers actually "doing" anything. Anybody have a link?
Nope, you are not living under a rock. Various people have various excuses for why we haven't made much real progress; such as blaming computer scientists for using the wrong approaches, or not yet having an effective quantum programming language, or quantum computer manufacturer's lying about their chips' capabilities.

I think that this is quite enlightening and relevant without all the finger pointing:

Skip to 5:20, if you wish.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment