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Intel Horse Ridge chip could be the key to a quantum computing future

(Image credit: Future)

Quantum computing is a promising technology, but it's years away from being a large-scale, commercial product. One of the reasons why lies in the fact that the controls are cumbersome, to say the least. Simply put, it's a bunch of wires and cables that need to go into and out of a chamber in freezing temperatures.

Well, Intel hopes to change all that and nudge quantum computing closer towards being a commercial product. On Monday, it announced Horse Ridge – a new control chip the size of a CD that should replace the unsightly cables and wires.

"While there has been a lot of emphasis on the qubits themselves, the ability to control many qubits at the same time had been a challenge for the industry," Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware at Intel, said in a blog post.

Horse Ridge, named after one of the coldest places in the States,was built with Intel's 22nm FinFET technology. It brings qubit controls into the quantum refrigerator and is capable of operating at almost absolute zero (4 Kelvin). However, as today's quantum computers operate at basically absolute zero, Horse Ridge can be perceived as working at a higher temperature, thus solving a huge cooling challenge.

It works as a radio frequency processor, eliminating the need for longer cables, as well.

Being infinitely faster than today's machines, quantum computers are perceived as a huge leap in computing.