In a major announcement for the technology industry, U.S. chipmaker Intel has revealed that its highly anticipated 12-qubit quantum processor is now ready for shipment, giving it a significant edge over its competitors. According to a report by Ars Technica, the quantum processor will be dispatched to select research laboratories across the United States.
In recent months, Intel has faced growing scrutiny as companies increasingly turned to Nvidia for their artificial intelligence (AI) requirements or opted for in-house chip designs for upcoming products. Furthermore, with rivals like IBM pushing the boundaries of quantum computing, the pressure on Intel has mounted. Just this week, Interesting Engineering reported on IBM’s quantum computer surpassing a supercomputer in solving complex mathematical problems. In this competitive landscape, the news of Intel’s quantum processor comes as a potential game-changer that could revitalize the company’s position.
By delivering its 12-qubit quantum processor ahead of schedule, Intel aims to reassert its prominence and solidify its position in the market. The successful shipment of this advanced technology could provide Intel with the much-needed boost it requires to stay at the forefront of the evolving technology landscape.
Intel’s quantum processor
Intel’s quantum offering has been dubbed Tunnel Falls, much like its other processors named after water bodies. Unlike its competitors, Intel has been working to build silicon-based qubits. In its opinion, this helps it facilitate a transition from silicon chip to quantum chip in the future with the least effort possible.
Intel’s qubits are, therefore, small quantum dots that can capture individual electrons and store information. This makes Intel’s job a lot tougher since it has to focus on getting the hardware and the software right for its quantum processor.
By shipping its quantum processors to research laboratories, Intel hopes to get some more hands and brains to work on what it takes to get its quantum processors to work for everybody.
Currently, the processor needs a dilution refrigeration system to get temperatures down to absolute zero degrees before it can begin work. Intel’s partnership with research laboratories is seeking remedies for such real-world problems of quantum computers. At the same time, the company uses its fabrication expertise to build better quantum chips with more qubits at par with its competitors.
Dropping the ‘i’ to gain visibility
The Santa Clara, California-based company is also working on its branding to remain visible amidst the cloud of chipmakers that have sprung up over the years. In a recent move, Intel has decided to drop the ‘i” in its processor’s nomenclature and simply call them Core3/5/7/9 in the future.
This is being done to make it difficult for people to shorten the processor name, company executives told The Verge. Instead, users will have to call them Core 3 or Core 5 processors in the near future, allowing the company to differentiate its latest flagship chips that will also carry the Ultra branding.
Intel has surely made life a bit more complicated for those keen on knowing the generation of the processor they are investing in. Users will have to dig deep to see if they buy devices with the latest chips or some leftover inventory from the previous year.
Until the quantum range of processors becomes available, there is only Intel, Core, and Core Ultra ranges for die-hard users. Intel says tiering within these ranges will continue in the future as well.