Intel will install a quantum computing testbed f
Partnership with world’s leading chipmaker accelerates development of quantum devices.
The Argonne will soon receive a special delivery.
This year, technology company Intel will deliver its first quantum computing testbed to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory, the host lab for Q-NEXT, a national research facility in Quantum Information Science from the DOE.
The machine will be the first major component installed in the Argonne Quantum Foundry, which will serve as a factory to create and test new quantum materials and devices. It should be finished this year.
Q-NEXT scientists will use Intel’s machine to run quantum algorithms on a real quantum computing testbed rather than in a simulated quantum environment. And Intel will collect feedback from scientists on the quality of the machine’s components and its overall operation.
“I enjoy working on difficult and interesting problems. I think building a practical quantum computer is one of the most difficult problems that have been given to me. —Jeanette Roberts, Intel
“It’s going to take a lot of people working together to make quantum computing a reality. We need to leverage each other’s expertise,” said Jeanette Roberts, who leads Intel’s quantum measurement team. “It’s kind of a team sport. It’s a good collaborative space in a pre-competitive space.
The promise of quantum computingThe power of is widely touted: a quantum computer will be able to solve problems that are impossible for today’s most powerful computers. Its achievement should be a boon not only for basic research but also for areas that affect our daily lives, including medicine, logistics and finance.
Dive deep into science
Roberts is leading the effort. In collaboration with the Q-NEXT scientists, it is currently setting up the hardware, software and all the programming of the test bench necessary for its commissioning.
The prospect of building a quantum computer was particularly appealing to Roberts, who has always sought to understand how the physical world works.
“I often looked up things and found the expression that further information was ‘beyond the scope of this book.’ his Ph.D. in physics just before joining Intel in 1995.
His curiosity for nature extends beyond the laboratory. An avid skier, hiker, climber and mountain biker, Roberts is also a certified master diver, including deep and wreck diving certifications. She has logged over 900 dives worldwide – including Australia, the Caribbean, Chuuk, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Palau and North West North America – often carrying 100 lbs. of equipment.
“I usually scuba dive or plan to scuba dive,” she said. “It’s a completely different world in the water, with animals and plants unlike what we see on land. It’s like being on another planet. It provided opportunities to be in a variety of cultures as well as underwater environments.
As exhilarating as scuba diving has been for Roberts, the challenge of building a quantum computer might beat him.
“I enjoy working on difficult and interesting problems,” she said. “I think building a practical quantum computer is one of the most difficult problems that have been presented to me.”
The offer came to him in 2015, when Intel entered the quantum technology industry with the launch of its quantum computing program. In partnership with the Technical University of Delft, Intel launched the program with the aim of applying high-volume manufacturing techniques to the creation of quantum devices.
Roberts was one of the first two engineers to join the company’s quantum computing team, helping to develop Intel’s qubits, the quantum analogue of the binary computing bit.
From semiconductor chips to spin qubits
Different types of qubits process data in different ways. Intel is focusing on a class called spin qubits. These devices store information in a material’s spin, a special and fundamental characteristic of all atomic and subatomic matter.
“Spin qubits turn out to be a lot like transistors, of which Intel ships 800 quadrillion each year. The similarities between the two technologies mean that we can leverage Intel’s expertise in designing and manufacturing semiconductors for spin qubits,” Roberts said. “We are leveraging the Intel infrastructure to help make quantum computing a reality.”
Qubit’s development is just one part of Intel’s quantum R&D. The company also conducts R&D on quantum algorithms, control electronics for quantum devices, and quantum interconnects, the components that allow quantum information to be transmitted between different media and platforms.
“Intel’s work in developing quantum devices resonates strongly with Q-NEXT’s mission, and the company’s partnership has been invaluable to the collaboration,” said Q-NEXT Director David Awschalom, who is also an Argonne Principal Scientist, the Liew Family Professor and Vice Dean. of Research and Infrastructure at the University of Chicago Pritzker School for Molecular Engineering, and Founding Director of the Chicago Quantum Exchange. “The entire Q-NEXT-Intel team, including Jeanette, is committed to helping the center achieve its goals. Once the semiconductor test bed is up and running, it will open up all sorts of possibilities for create new quantum materials and devices.”
This work is supported by the US Department of Energy’s National Quantum Information Science Research Centers.
Q-NEXT is a U.S. Department of Energy National Quantum Information Science Research Center led by Argonne National Laboratory. Q-NEXT brings together world-class researchers from national laboratories, universities, and US technology companies with the sole purpose of developing science and technology to control and distribute quantum information. Q-NEXT collaborators and institutions will establish two national foundries for quantum materials and devices, develop networks of secure sensors and communication systems, establish simulation and network testbeds, and train the workforce. next-generation quantum-ready to ensure continued American scientific and economic leadership. in this rapidly evolving field. For more information, visit https://www.q-next.org.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts cutting-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state, and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance American scientific leadership, and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is led by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.
U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science is the largest supporter of basic physical science research in the United States and strives to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.
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