Intel starts testing smallest ‘spin qubit’ chip for quantum computing

Intel researchers are testing a tiny, ‘spin qubit’ chip, which it says is the tiniest quantum computing chip it has made so far.

The chip was created in Intel’s D1D Fab in Oregon using the same silicon manufacturing techniques it has implemented for of traditional computer chips, and runs at around 460 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.

The zigzag lines in the photo (the chip is shown balanced on a pencil eraser) are printed wires connecting the chip’s qubits to the outside world.

According to Intel, the qubits are extraordinarily small – about 50nm across and visible only under an electron microscope. About 1,500 qubits could fit across the diameter of a single human hair. This means the design for the chip could be dramatically scaled up.

Bethan Grylls

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