The American company faces the challenge of achieving quantum supremacy. But just like them they are also trying at Google, IBM, etc. What they don’t know is that Intel has just achieved a new milestone in that direction.
Intel, AMD’s rival and major CPU manufacturer, has demonstrated the industry’s highest performance and consistency to date from silicon spin qubit devices developed at Intel’s transistor research and development facility.
This is an important milestone for scaling up and working on quantum chip manufacturing in Intel’s transistor manufacturing processes.
The research was carried out using Intel’s second-generation silicon spin test chip. Testing the devices with Intel’s Cryotester, a quantum dot testing device that operates at cryogenic temperatures (-271.45 degrees Celsius), the team isolated 12 quantum dots and four sensors.
This result represents the largest silicon electron spin device in the industry, with a single electron at each location along a 300-millimeter silicon wafer. Without a doubt, it is a very different job from doing traditional CPUs. AMD is also in this fight.
Today’s silicon spin qubits typically come in a single device, while Intel research demonstrates success in an entire wafer.
Manufactured using extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography, the chips show remarkable uniformity, with a 95% yield rate across the entire wafer.
The use of the cryoprocessor, together with robust automation software, made it possible to obtain more than 900 single quantum dots and more than 400 double points in the last electron, which can be characterized to one degree above absolute zero in less than 24 hours.
The increased performance and consistency of characterized devices at low temperatures over previous Intel test chips allows Intel to use statistical process control to identify areas of the manufacturing process that need to be optimized.
This speeds up learning and represents a crucial step towards scaling up to the thousands or potentially millions of qubits needed for a commercial quantum computer. Without a doubt, Intel has taken a giant step forward in its quantum career.