Intel Rolls Out Tiny “Spin Qubit” Chip

Nano-scale design could herald an advance in quantum computing

Intel has started testing a new “spin qubit” chip that they say could one day scale better than existing qubit designs to support very large quantum computers. The qubit hardware embedded in the chip is extremely small—about 50 nanometers across and visible only through an electron microscope; 1,500 qubits could fit across the diameter of a human hair.

The new chip was created at Intel’s D1D Fab in Oregon. Testing will occur at the extremely cold temperatures necessary for quantum computing (around minus 460 degrees Fahrenheit).

Quantum computing, which uses quantum mechanical principles, such as superposition and entanglement, was once considered controversial, but several well-funded companies like Intel have made large investments in the technology in recent years—with promising results.