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Intel's new Horse Ridge chip: new cryogenic chip for quantum computing

Intel's new Horse Ridge chip runs at near absolute zero for next-gen quantum computing systems

By Anthony Garreffa on Jan 5, 2020 12:30 am CST - 1 min, 23 secs reading time

Intel recently announced its new codename Horse Ridge chip, a new cryogenic control chip that will assist quantum computing systems. The new chip is being made available to commercially viable quantum computers, with the company co-developing the Horse Ridge chip between Intel Labs and QuTech.

Horse Ridge is an exciting cryogenic control chip that is capable of controlling multiple qubits (quantum bits) at the same time, with Intel explaining that this specific part of a quantum computer system is an "essential feature". Quantum computing is still in its early days, with Intel putting its efforts into the interconnects and control electronics -- and not the production of the qubits.

Right now, quantum computers use existing electronic tools to link quantum systems inside of a cryogenic refrigerator -- this actually holds back qubit performance so Intel is being Intel and wants to push that. Current quantum chips and computers require absolute zero cooling to work, while Horse Ridge can actually work at just over absolute zero -- 4 Kelvin.


What Intel is doing here with its new Horse Ridge SoC is that it in its own words "radically simplifies" the control electronics required to operate a quantum system, where instead of custom-designed devices that have hundreds of connective wires going inside and outside of the refrigerator -- where performance is reduced, a simplified design can speed up things in a totally different way.

The bulky instruments have been effectively replaced by a highly-integrated SoC that allows for signal processing techniques to dramatically increase... thus boosting qubit performance and at-scale, these numbers only get better.

Intel explains more on Horse Ridge here.

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Anthony Garreffa

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Anthony Garreffa

Anthony is a long time PC enthusiast with a passion of hate for games to be built around consoles. With FPS gaming since the pre-Quake days, where you were insulted if you used a mouse to aim, he has been addicted to gaming and hardware ever since. Working in IT retail for 10 years gave him great experience with high-end, custom-built PCs. His addiction to GPU technology is unwavering, and with next-gen NVIDIA GPUs about to launch alongside 4K 144Hz HDR G-Sync gaming monitors and BFGDs (65-inch 4K 120Hz HDR G-Sync TVs) there has never been a time to be more excited about technology.

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