Intel launches quantum chip Tunnel Falls

Intel announced the launch of its latest quantum research chip, named Tunnel Falls. This silicon chip features 12 qubits and will be made available to the quantum research community.
Intel Chip for Quantum Computing
In an effort to advance quantum computing research, Intel is partnering with the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS) at the University of Maryland, College Park’s Qubit Collaboratory (LQC), a prominent Quantum Information Sciences (QIS) Research Center.

Tunnel Falls represents Intel’s advanced silicon spin qubit chip to date and benefits from the company’s extensive experience in transistor design and manufacturing. Its release marks a significant step in Intel’s long-term strategy to develop a comprehensive commercial quantum computing system.

While there are still fundamental questions and challenges to overcome on the path to a fault-tolerant quantum computer, the academic community can now explore this technology and expedite research and development.

This release holds importance as academic institutions typically lack the high-volume manufacturing fabrication equipment available at Intel. By providing Tunnel Falls, researchers can immediately engage in experiments and research without the need to fabricate their own devices. This enables a broader range of experiments, including deeper exploration of qubit and quantum dot fundamentals and the development of new techniques for working with devices incorporating multiple qubits.

Intel is collaborating with LQC as part of the Qubits for Computing Foundry (QCF) program, facilitated by the U.S. Army Research Office, to supply Intel’s quantum chip to research laboratories. Intel aims to democratize silicon spin qubits by allowing researchers to gain hands-on experience with scaled arrays of these qubits. The initiative aims to enhance workforce development, foster new quantum research avenues, and promote overall growth within the quantum ecosystem.

The initial participants in the program include LPS, Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Rochester, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. LQC will work closely with Intel to expand access to Tunnel Falls for additional universities and research labs. The knowledge gained from these experiments will be shared with the community to advance quantum research and assist Intel in enhancing qubit performance and scalability.

The release of Tunnel Falls marks Intel’s first silicon spin qubit device made available to the research community. Fabricated on 300-millimeter wafers at the D1 fabrication facility, this 12-qubit device leverages Intel’s state-of-the-art transistor industrial fabrication capabilities, including extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) and advanced gate and contact processing techniques.

In silicon spin qubits, information is encoded in the spin of a single electron (0/1). Each qubit device functions as a single electron transistor, enabling Intel to employ a similar manufacturing process to that of a standard complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) logic processing line.