Intel Devotes $50M For Enhancing Quantum Computing

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Intel announced plans to invest $50 million and engineering resources to expand its capabilities in quantum computing. The chip maker entered into a 10-year deal with Netherlands Delft University of Technology and TNO, the Dutch Applied Research Organization, for making progress in quantum computing to address complex problems.

Collaboration a must for success

Quantum computing helps in addressing the problems that appear to be practically impossible to solve right now, such as complex simulations like big financial analysis and drug development. Intel has been exploring this segment, as it has the needed skills to enhance the abilities of future computers. Intel Labs Vice President and Managing Director Mike Mayberry believes a fully-functional quantum computer is still many years away but that the “practical and theoretical” efforts the company has announced will go a long way in making this technology a reality.

With the collaboration, the chip maker aims to combine its expertise and research in the field of physics and quantum computing with its architectural, manufacturing and electronics abilities. Intel believes a single company or an organization will not be able to succeed alone in this vast area of quantum computing and that partnerships and industry collaboration will help in utilizing the technology to the fullest.

“Expertise in specialized electronics combined with advanced physics is required to move quantum computing closer to being a reality,” Mayberry said.

Intel exploring new revenue streams

In a blog, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich detailed the company’s interest in quantum computing and also explained why electronics and manufacturing abilities are vital for success in this area. Unlike digital computers which use binary digits (bits) for data and are transistor-based, quantum computers need data in the form of quantum bits (qubits). At a time, qubits can be fed in multiple states in a quantum computer, thus enhancing the speed to process many large calculations at one time.

Intel has been speeding up the pace of its investments in recent times to open up more revenue opportunities. A few days ago, the chip maker made a $60 million investment in a Hong Kong-based company that sells consumer drones. Last week, Intel also invested in two more diverse firms: Mirantis, an OpenStack company, and BlueData, a big data infrastructure firm.

At around 10:30 a.m. Eastern, Intel shares were down 1.48% at $28.66. Year to date, the stock is down by almost 22% while in the last year, shares are down by almost 18%.

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