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Oscar Williams

News editor

Intel has built a quantum computing processor made of silicon

Intel has invented a new type of quantum computing processor made of silicon, it revealed yesterday.

The structure is called a “spin qubit” and could overcome some of the biggest hurdles facing quantum computing engineers.

The qubit resembles conventional semiconductor electronics and leverages the spin of an electron to process massive datasets much faster than a normal computer.

Alternative qubit structures are extremely fragile, but these qubits are both smaller and stronger, Intel says, potentially enabling researchers to scale the system to the millions required to make quantum computing a commercial reality.

They are also said to be able to function at higher temperatures than superconducting qubits, and they are much more closely aligned to traditional silicon transistors.

Intel said in a statement: “While there are key scientific and engineering challenges remaining to scale this technology, Intel has the equipment and infrastructure from decades of fabricating transistors at scale.”