Intel releases second-generation Horse Ridge cryogenic quantum control chip

At the Intel Research Open Day event held on December 4th, Beijing time, Intel launched its second-generation cryogenic control chip, Horse Ridge II, marking another milestone in Intel’s breakthrough in quantum computing scalability. Scalability is one of the biggest challenges of quantum computing. Building on the innovations of the first-generation Horse Ridge controller introduced in 2019, Horse Ridge II supports enhanced functionality and higher levels of integration for efficient control of quantum systems. New capabilities include the ability to manipulate and read the state of qubits, as well as the ability to control the multiple quantum gates required to entangle multiple qubits.

“With Horse Ridge II, Intel continues to lead innovation in quantum cryogenic control, leveraging the interdisciplinary expertise of integrated circuit design, research and technology development teams,” said Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware, Intel Research Component Research Group. , just increasing the number of qubits without addressing the resulting wiring complexity is like owning a sports car but always stuck in traffic. Horse Ridge II further simplifies the control of quantum circuits and we look forward to this development Being able to improve fidelity and reduce power output brings us one step closer to ‘traffic-free’ integrated quantum circuits.”

Early current quantum systems use room-temperature electronics connected by many coaxial cables to qubit chips in dilution refrigerators. Given the cooler’s form factor, cost, power consumption, and thermal load, this approach cannot scale for a large number of qubits. With the original version of Horse Ridge, Intel took the first step in addressing these challenges by radically simplifying the requirements: No more needing to use multiple racks for equipment, and no longer needing to run thousands of wires in and out of cooling machine to run quantum computing devices. Instead, Intel replaced these bulky instruments with highly integrated systems-on-chips (SoCs) that simplify system design and use sophisticated signal processing techniques to speed up setup times, improve qubit performance, and allow engineering teams to efficiently integrate Quantum systems scale to larger qubits.

The Horse Ridge II’s design is based on the first-generation SoC’s ability to generate radio frequency pulses to manipulate the states of qubits, also known as Qubit Drives. It introduces two additional control functions, allowing further integration of external Electronic controls into the SoC running inside the cryogenic refrigerator.

New features include:

Qubit readout: This function allows reading the current qubit state. This readout is significant because it allows for on-chip low-latency qubit state detection without storing large amounts of data, saving memory and power consumption.

Multigate Pulsing: The ability to control multiple quantum gates simultaneously, which is critical for efficient qubit reading and entanglement and manipulation of multiple qubits, and lays the groundwork for more scalable systems Base.

By adding a programmable microcontroller running within an integrated circuit, Horse Ridge II enables a higher level of flexibility and sophisticated control over how the three control functions are performed. The microcontroller uses digital signal processing techniques to additionally filter the pulses, helping to reduce crosstalk between qubits.

Horse Ridge II uses Intel® 22nm Low-Power FinFET Technology (22FFL), and its functionality has been proven at 4 Kelvin. Today, a quantum computer operates in the millikelvin range, just a fraction of a degree above absolute zero. But silicon spin qubits (the basis of Intel’s quantum work) have the ability to operate at temperatures of 1 Kelvin or higher, which would greatly reduce the difficulty of cooling quantum systems.

Intel’s cryogenic control research focuses on bringing the control and silicon spin qubits to the same operating temperature level. Continued advancements in this area, as demonstrated in Horse Ridge II, represent today’s advances in the dramatic expansion of quantum interconnects and are a key element in Intel’s long-term vision for quantum utility.

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