Intel Gives Nascent Quantum Computing Initiatives $50 Million Cash Infusion

Intel is investing $50 million and "significant engineering resources" into quantum computing. It's part of a decade-long collaborative effort with QuTech, a quantum research institute belonging to Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands and the Dutch Organization for Applied Research.

Quantum computing has long been considered the Holy Grail of processing. It's completely different from today's transistor-based computing models and is capable of solving much more complex problems, including intricate simulations like large-scale financial analysis and drug development.

Intel Engineers

Intel's investment and long-term commitment in the field is a big deal, though even with the weight of the world's leading semiconductor company pushing the category, quantum computing isn't something that will become a reality in the next few years.

"A fully functioning quantum computer is at least a dozen years away, but the practical and theoretical research efforts we're announcing today mark an important milestone in the journey to bring it closer to reality," said Mike Mayberry, Intel vice president and managing director of Intel Labs.

Whereas transistors use binary ones and zeroes, quantum computing uses quantum bits, or qubits, which can exist in multiple states simultaneously. This allowis them to compute a large number of calculations in parallel for faster results. However, there are several hurdles to overcome, one of which is the necessity to keep qubits extremely cold.

"While qubit development has been the focus of quantum computing research to date, low-temperature electronics will be required to connect, control and measure multiple qubits, and this is where we can contribute," Mayberry added.