(PamplinMedia) Jim Clarke, director of quantum hardware at Intel, showed off the quantum facility to to Joseph Gallivan of Portland Tribune recently and this interview text documents the discussion. The site is next to the gigantic D1X semiconductor fabrication plant, where Intel is working on its own quantum computer chip.
Intel can build the quantum chips in the same facility where it develops its regular transistor-based processors, and Clarke expects Intel will be able to scale up production faster than the competition. He pointed out that Intel also is known for its semiconductor fabrication plant, and for its architecture, the bed on which the chip sits “We can tap into that network,” Clarke said.
Intel picked this path because it resembles its usual business, Clarke said. Others have gone their own way. Other ways of making qubits include lasers and superconductors. “Google, IBM and others, they’re doing superconducting qubits,” Clarke said. “Intel is doing these qubits that look like transistors. The primary reason is we have tens of billions of dollars of equipment dedicated to transistors (at Ronler Acres). Intel ships 400 quadrillion transistors a year. So, if we can build a quantum technology that’s built on the core fundamentals of transistors, we think we’re going to lead in this technology.”
While these Intel chips are different from transistors, they use the same silicon as a regular chip.
One way they have the edge over Google’s chips? Scale.