Quantum computing is a concept that many have heard of, but few understand. At SEEQC, we value the education aspect of introducing a new generation to the quantum era. The advancements of quantum computing chips will be instrumental to the future of quantum computing, but how exactly do these chips work?
What is a quantum computing chip?
A quantum computing chip serves as the processor for quantum computers. These quantum computing chips contain quantum bits, or “qubits" — quantum’s key advantage over classical computing.
A classical computing bit can have a value of 0 or 1, but a qubit can have a value of 0, 1, or both. This gives quantum computers the ability to process equations and algorithms exponentially faster than classical computers. For now, this technology is at a small-scale, but it has the potential to significantly alter the way that we look at computing.
Quantum computing chip challenges
Some challenges that quantum computing chips face are scalability and manufacturing. While the concept of quantum computing was introduced in 1959, the industry is in its infancy. The 21st century has brought on many vital advancements for quantum computing, but a major hurdle will continue to be commercially-scalable quantum computing. Quantum computing technologies have the potential to reshape some of the biggest industries in the world, but only if the scaling process continues to advance.
Another challenge in the chip manufacturing process is supply chain issues. The COVID-19 pandemic brought on many chip shortages, leading to skyrocketing demand for microchips. While these supply chain disruptions will eventually dissolve, efficient production and distribution of quantum computing chips will be extremely important to quantum computing’s commercial future.
Advancements in quantum computing chips
Advancements in quantum computing chips are well-documented. In 1996, physicist David DiVincenzo published “DiVincenzo’s Criteria,” which describes the five elements vital to creating a quantum computer. For over 25 years, this list has served as a significant template for the production of quantum computing devices. Just two years later in 1998, a working two qubit Nuclear Magnetic Resonance quantum computer was used to solve Deutsch's algorithm — the first algorithm that was solved better by a quantum computer than by a classical computer.
In 2009, a team at the National Institute of Standards and Technology created the first chip-scale quantum computing device. Most recently, IBM broke the 100 qubit barrier with their processor, “Eagle,” in 2021. This processor contained 127 qubits and was a massive milestone for scalable quantum computing.
How are quantum computing chips manufactured?
Our facility has fabricated more than 5,000 separate superconductive electronic chip designs. The foundry has the ability to produce virtually any superconductor chip for commercial, academic, and government markets; offering design, development, simulation, layout, fabrication, cryogenic high-speed testing and packaging in a world-class production environment.
Our state-of-the-art, 150mm wafer processing capability is supported with advanced equipment in manifold clean rooms. The high-volume capability allows customers to take advantage of rapid improvements in both yield and performance.
Digital Quantum Management (DQM) System-on-a-Chip overview
Our Digital Quantum Management (DQM) System-on-a-Chip technology is the linkage between quantum hardware and quantum algorithms and applications. By integrating critical management functions on a chip, it brings a new level of scale and cost-effectiveness, and enables new functionalities to quantum computing.
SEEQC’s patented Single Flux Quantum (SFQuClass) processors will perform digital qubit control, readout and classical data processing functions, as well as being a platform for error correction. They are proximally co-located and integrated with qubit chips in a cryo-cooled environment to drastically reduce the complexity of input/output connections and maximize the benefits of fast, precise, low-noise digital control and readout, and energy-efficient classical co-processing.
Why having more qubits is important
Having more qubits in a quantum computing chip is important because every qubit significantly increases the computing power of the quantum computing chip. As the quantum computing industry continues to race towards commercial scalability, the ability to create quantum computing chips with more and more qubits will set the tone for quantum computing’s future.
How SEEQC can help
At SEEQC, we are able to manufacture our own chips at our in-house chip foundry, which gives us the ability to avoid supply chain issues for quantum computing chip manufacturing and assure world-class quality. We’re dedicated to producing sustainable quantum computing technology at a commercially-scalable level. Quantum computing’s quick development is extremely promising and today’s advancements are leading the way for a brighter tomorrow for a new generation of computing consumers.