Intel Probes Qubits to Bring Quantum Computing Sooner. Intel released new information on its latest quantum computing efforts. The company, working with Finnish partners, has developed a commercially available quantum bit [qubit] probe. The tool’s goal is seen as bringing quantum computing to fruition sooner by solving the challenges qubits present with current technology.
“Built by Intel, Bluefors and Afore, the first Cryogenic Wafer Prober is a cryoprober tool designed to test and validate qubits needed for quantum computing. The Cryogenic Wafer Prober allows researchers to test qubits on 300mm wafers down to temperatures of a few kelvins, making it a first-of-its-kind testing tool for quantum computing. The first Cryogenic Wafer Prober will be located at Intel’s Oregon campus.” (Image Credit: Bluefors)
“Why It Matters: One of the biggest challenges with quantum computing is data collection and access to data. Today, each quantum processor is tested for months in a low-temperature dilution refrigerator to determine what works and what doesn’t work. Conventional transistors are very different, and with the right tools, Intel can characterize a large subset of these transistors on a 300mm wafer in about an hour and rapidly inform the feedback loop back to the fabrication line. For quantum computing, however, the turn-on characteristics of qubits must be measured at low temperatures of less than a few kelvins above absolute zero. Until now, the electrical characterization of qubits was very slow compared with traditional transistors, often taking days to collect even small subsets of data.”
“So far the past year, Intel has worked with Bluefors and Afore to combine our expertise and build a fast, electrical characterization tool that can operate in the quantum regime. We hope that by designing this tool, the industry can use it to accelerate the progress of quantum computing,” Dr. Jim Clarke, director of Quantum Hardware, Intel
“How It Works: Intel approached Bluefors, a leader in building cryogen-free dilution refrigerator systems with a strong focus on quantum computing, who partnered with Afore, a leading micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) test solutions provider based in Finland, to design and manufacture the device. The Cryogenic Wafer Prober allows researchers to test qubits on 300mm wafers down to temperatures of a few kelvins, making it a first-of-its-kind testing tool for quantum computing. The first Cryogenic Wafer Prober will be located at Intel’s Oregon campus next to several quantum computing dilution refrigerators.”
With the cryoprober, “Intel will be able to speed feedback into the silicon spin qubit fabrication line and accelerate quantum computing research and development.” If silicon and quantum bits are functionally combined, a major hurdle to quantum comptuing will have been overcome. We’ll see. Because quantum is coming.