(SlashGear) Intel and partner QuTech are announcing a breakthrough in technology that would allow qubits, and therefore quantum computing systems, to operate in slightly warmer environments.
Qubits aren’t that easy to pin down, both in definition and quite literally. Unlike the discrete values of 1 and 0 or on and off in bits, qubits can hold both values depending on their state. The nature of qubits, which are practically based on sub-atomic particles like electrons and photons, is what makes quantum computing the future of supercomputers.
They’re also a nightmare to operate, though, mostly because of two factors. One is that qubits only operate at extremely low temperatures. This leads to the second problem, which is having the qubits’ control electronics separate from the qubits themselves because of the extremely frigid temperatures.
Intel’s breakthrough enables qubits that can operate at temperatures higher than 1 kelvin, roughly -458F/-272C. In comparison, computers in outer space operate at 3 kelvin. In practical terms, this would allow Intel to combine both the quantum hardware and the control circuitry on the same chip.