Intel and six other companies have joined the Chicago Quantum Exchange (CQE), a growing intellectual hub for the research and development of quantum technology. The community, which also includes other industry leaders in computing, technology and finance such as Microsoft, JP Morgan Chase, Quantum Design, Qubitekk, Rigetti Computing and Zurich Instruments, will share expertise and collaborate on contributions to further advance the quantum revolution.
CQE and its corporate members advance the science and engineering necessary to build and scale quantum technologies, ultimately developing practical applications. The results of this work — precision data from quantum sensors, advanced quantum computers and algorithms, and securely transmitted information — will transform today’s leading industries. CQE has a total of 13 member companies working with scientists and engineers at universities and national laboratories in the region, including the University of Chicago.
“These new corporate partners join a robust collaboration of private and public universities, national laboratories, companies, and non-profit organizations. Together, their efforts — with federal and state support — will enhance the nation’s leading center for quantum information and engineering here in Chicago,” said University of Chicago provost Ka Yee C. Lee.
Joining CQE represents another step forward for Intel’s quantum efforts, which are focused on a systems-level approach to quantum research that demonstrates quantum practicality and a path to commercially viable quantum computing systems. In collaboration with QuTech, Intel’s research efforts include technology advancements in silicon spin qubits, control and interconnect systems for large-scale quantum systems, and quantum algorithms.
“We’re focusing our research on new qubit technologies and addressing key bottlenecks in their control and connectivity as quantum systems get larger,” said Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware at Intel. “Our collaborations with members of the Chicago Quantum Exchange will help us harness our collective areas of expertise to contribute to meaningful advances in these areas.”
Intel currently supports quantum research with universities affiliated with CQE, including the work that University of Chicago computer scientist Fred Chong and his students have done with both Intel and Rigetti Computing on software and hardware solutions. With Intel’s support, Chong’s team invented a range of software techniques to more efficiently execute quantum programs on a coming crop of quantum hardware. For example, they developed methods that take advantage of the hierarchical structure of important quantum circuits that are critical to the future of reliable quantum computation.
Intel's ultimate goal is to make the leap from research to commercial viability in applications such as drug development, logistics optimization, natural disaster prediction, and many more, according to Clarke.
QuTech and Intel’s recent research into hot qubits has shown that silicon spin qubits have the potential to operate at slightly higher temperatures than current quantum systems, achieving just one step towards scalability.
The approach enables Intel to leverage its expertise in advanced packaging and interconnect technologies for a scalable path forward toward quantum practicality. This research builds on Intel’s ongoing work in advancing the development of full-stack quantum systems, including the 2019 introduction of the first-of-its-kind Horse Ridge scalable cryogenic quantum control chip.
“Intel remains committed to solving intractable challenges that lie on the path of achieving quantum practicality,” said Clarke.