Intel works on "next stage" of quantum computing

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Intel's new 17-qubit chip marches toward the quantum computing future

The programming language is expected to be available as a free preview by the end of the year and "also includes libraries and tutorials so developers can familiarize themselves with quantum computing", Microsoft said. "This work will allow us to uncover new insights in quantum computing that will shape the next stage of development". In the video above, you can see Intel and QuTech unbox the chip and explain the process of creating it. This is the reason why the death of Moore's Law feels imminent, and why this time Moore's Law dying is not just a false alarm.

According to Intel, the company is investing not only to invent new ways of computing, but also to advance the foundation of Moore's Law, which makes this future possible. Once we reach the single-atom or a small group of atoms, we may have no choice but to go deeper into the quantum world and build quantum chips instead of classical ones. Together, the two committed to pushing forward with quantum computing research, but ever since then, we haven't heard much about their progress.

Intel delivered the chip to a Dutch institute, QuTech, which is partnering with Intel on research into quantum computing. The chip doesn't seem to be too far behind Google's own experimental 20-qubit quantum computer (which is due for another upgrade soon) or IBM's soon to be commercially ready 17-qubit quantum computer.

Intel said qubits are very fragile and must operate at temperatures much colder than outer space.

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Additionally, Intel says that the processes, materials and designs it has used mean that the packaging can scale for quantum ICs, which are larger than silicon types. Unlike today's conventional devices that use the digital bits "0" and "1", quantum computers use qubits that can act as 0s, 1s or both simultaneously. It features a new architecture that makes it more reliable than previous test chips, while also giving it improved thermal performance and less radio frequency (RF) interference between qubits.

"Our quantum research has progressed to the point where our partner QuTech is simulating quantum algorithm workloads, and Intel is fabricating new qubit test chips on a regular basis in our leading-edge manufacturing facilities", said Michael Mayberry, corporate vice president and managing director of Intel Labs. For example, Intel said Tuesday that quantum computers could simulate the complex natural world to enable advances in chemistry and molecular modeling. They are able to take on tasks that traditional computers could not.

While quantum computers promise greater efficiency and performance to handle certain problems, they won't replace the need for conventional computing or other emerging technologies like neuromorphic computing. It could train against only 100 or even 10 pictures of cats, before it can recognize any cat as a cat.

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