Intel commits $50 million for quantum computing research

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Intel has committed $50 million as research funding to QuTech, the quantum institute of TU Delft and TNO, wherein the two will be carrying out intensive and extensive research on quantum computing.

The collaboration agreement will also see Intel contributing its expertise, manpower and facilities for the research. QuTech says that with Intel as its partner, it will be able to tackle some of the most daunting challenges in development of quantum computer such as upscaling – being able to create complex structures with an enormous number of quantum bits.

QuTech lead scientist Lieven Vandersypen pegs this partnership as scientific expertise meeting the best engineering expertise in the computer industry.

QuTech revealed that its primary focus in the development of quantum technology is the development of inherently secure quantum network connections and quantum computers.

“By drawing on the special quality of quantum bits to be not only 1 and 0, but 1 and 0 simultaneously, a quantum computer is able to solve certain mathematical problems much faster”, adds fellow lead scientist Leo DiCarlo.

For example, it is simply impossible for standard super computers to calculate the properties of promising new materials, but not for a quantum computer.

“This significantly improves our chances of discovering special new materials. Consider, for example, superconductors that do not require extreme cooling and as such, can transport electricity without loss of energy”, says Vandersypen.

“Expertise in specialized electronics combined with advanced physics is required to move quantum computing closer to being a reality,” comments Mike Mayberry, vice president of Intel and managing director of Intel Labs. “While qubit development has been the focus of quantum computing research to date, low-temperature electronics will be required to connect, control and measure multiple qubits, and this is where we can contribute. Our collaboration with QuTech will explore quantum computing breakthroughs that could influence the industry overall”.

The collaboration will focus on research into fault-tolerant quantum computing at QuTech. Vandersypen conducts research into qubits based on the spin, a tiny magnetic effect, of electrons trapped in quantum dots.

DiCarlo’s research is focused on qubits based on superconducting circuits on chips.

Edoardo Charbon develops low-temperature electronics to manage qubits, Koen Bertels concentrates on the architecture of the quantum computer and Ryoichi Ishihara focuses on the connection between quantum bits and control electronics.

TNO engineers will focus their expertise on the architecture of the quantumcomputer, enhancement and upscaling of the fabrication of qubits on nanoscale and the connection between qubits, chips and electronics.