We had previously reported on Intel’s Horse Ridge chip which is a cryogenic control chip that runs at 3 degrees Kelvin and provides the necessary qubit control signals to control gate operations. It supports designs up to 128 spin or transmon qubits and provides a big benefit in that it eliminates the large tangle of coaxial cables that run from external room temperature electronics down to the qubit chip inside the refrigerator. Intel developed this because they believe that the current implementations as seen in today’s superconducting qubit implementations are not scalable.

Intel has now disclosed they have developed a second generation of the device called Horse Ridge II.  Although full technical details of this new device are not yet available, Intel indicated they have added two important features including a qubit readout capability and multigate pulsing. They have added an integrated microcontroller which provides additional flexibility, such as implementing digital signal processing to provide additional filtering on the pulses. This chip also has 22 digital-to-analog converters for controlling multiple qubit operations simultaneously. It is built using the same 22 nm FinFET technology as the previous chip and supports the spin qubit technology that Intel is focusing on. Intel will disclose additional technical details about this chip at next year’s International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in February 2021. For more information, you can view Intel’s News Byte article about this chip here.

December 3, 2020