2nd-gen Intel quantum computing control IC

December 07, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Intel debuts 2nd-gen cryogenic quantum computing control chip
Tech giant Intel has unveiled its second-generation cryogenic control chip for quantum computing.

Horse Ridge II, says the company, marks another milestone in its progress toward overcoming scalability - one of quantum computing’s biggest hurdles. The new chip supports enhanced capabilities and higher levels of integration for "elegant" control of the quantum system.

New features include the ability to manipulate and read qubit states and control the potential of several gates required to entangle multiple qubits.

“With Horse Ridge II, Intel continues to lead innovation in the field of quantum cryogenic controls, drawing from our deep interdisciplinary expertise bench across the Integrated Circuit design, Labs and Technology Development teams," says Jim Clarke, Intel director of Quantum Hardware, Components Research Group, Intel. "We believe that increasing the number of qubits without addressing the resulting wiring complexities is akin to owning a sports car, but constantly being stuck in traffic. Horse Ridge II further streamlines quantum circuit controls, and we expect this progress to deliver increased fidelity and decreased power output, bringing us one step closer toward the development of a 'traffic-free' integrated quantum circuit.”

The chip is designed to address the current approach to today's early quantum systems, which use room-temperature electronics with many coaxial cables that are routed to the qubit chip inside a dilution refrigerator. This approach, says the company, does not scale to a large number of qubits due to form factor, cost, power consumption, and thermal load to the fridge.

The original Horse Ridge took the first step toward addressing this challenge by radically simplifying the need for multiple racks of equipment and thousands of wires running into and out of the refrigerator in order to operate the quantum machine. The company replaced these bulky instruments with a highly integrated system-on-chip (SoC) that simplifies system design and uses sophisticated signal processing techniques to accelerate setup time, improve qubit performance, and enable the engineering team to efficiently scale the quantum system to larger qubit counts.

Horse Ridge II, says the company,


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