Intel Introduces ‘Horse Ridge’ to Enable Commercially Viable Quantum Computers
What’s New: Intel Labs today unveiled what is believed to be a first-of-its-kind cryogenic control chip — code-named “Horse Ridge” — that will speed up development of full-stack quantum computing systems. Horse Ridge will enable control of multiple quantum bits (qubits) and set a clear path toward scaling larger systems — a major milestone on the path to quantum practicality. Developed together with Intel’s research collaborators at QuTech, a partnership between TU Delft and TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research), Horse Ridge is fabricated using Intel’s 22nm FinFET technology. In-house fabrication of these control chips at Intel will dramatically accelerate the company’s ability to design, test and optimize a commercially viable quantum computer.
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Stefano Pellerano, principal engineer at Intel Labs, holds Horse Ridge. The new cryogenic control chip will speed development of full-stack quantum computing systems, marking a milestone in the development of a commercially viable quantum computer. (Credit: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)
“While there has been a lot of emphasis on the qubits themselves, the ability to control many qubits at the same time had been a challenge for the industry. Intel recognized that quantum controls were an essential piece of the puzzle we needed to solve in order to develop a large-scale commercial quantum system. That’s why we are investing in quantum error correction and controls. With Horse Ridge, Intel has developed a scalable control system that will allow us to significantly speed up testing and realize the potential of quantum computing.”
–Jim Clarke, Intel’s director of Quantum Hardware
Why It Matters: In the race to realize the power and potential of quantum computers, researchers have focused extensively on qubit fabrication, building test chips that demonstrate the exponential power of a small number of qubits operating in superposition. However, in early quantum hardware developments — including design, testing and characterization of Intel’s silicon spin qubit and superconducting qubit systems — Intel identified a major bottleneck toward realizing commercial-scale quantum computing: interconnects and control electronics.