Intel to invest $50 million in quantum computing research

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Chip maker Intel has announced plans to invest $50 million (£33 million) in quantum computing research, which could help boost the capabilities of high performance computers.

In an open letter, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has announced Intel’s partnership with QuTech, the quantum research institute Delft University of Technology, and TNO, the Dutch Organization for Applied Research.

As part of the collaboration, the tech giant will invest funds into physics and quantum computing research efforts and also offer engineering resources and technical support to the university over the course of next ten years.

“Quantum computing is one of the more promising areas of long-term research we’ve been exploring in our labs, with some of the smartest engineers in the world,” Krzanich wrote.

“We believe it has the potential to augment the capabilities of tomorrow’s high performance computers.”

Mike Mayberry, Intel vice president and managing director of Intel Labs, said “A fully functioning quantum computer is at least a dozen years away, but the practical and theoretical research efforts we’re announcing today mark an important milestone in the journey to bring it closer to reality.”

“Expertise in specialized electronics combined with advanced physics is required to move quantum computing closer to being a reality,” Mayberry added.

“While qubit development has been the focus of quantum computing research to date, low-temperature electronics will be required to connect, control and measure multiple qubits, and this is where we can contribute. Our collaboration with QuTech will explore quantum computing breakthroughs that could influence the industry overall.”

Lieven Vandersypen, lead scientist at Delft’s QuTech Institute, said “In the next five to 10 years, progress in quantum computing will increasingly require the combination of excellent science with high-level engineering.”

“For the realisation of complex circuits containing large numbers of quantum bits, the know how from the semiconductor industry is essential and QuTech is thrilled to partner with the leading semiconductor company in the world.”

Intel joins Google and IBM in its efforts to advance quantum computing research. The company believes that it would be difficult for any single organization to achieve success in solving the puzzle of advanced quantum computing, and that such a technically complex issue can only be solved through industry collaboration.