Intel CEO addresses Meltdown, announces quantum developments

Intel Addresses the Elephant in the Room

He said 90 percent of products Intel has released in the past five years will receive updates by the end of the week.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich came to this year's Consumer Electronics Show with the future in mind even as his company and the rest of the IT industry continue to deal with the fallout from the vulnerabilities in processors that have given rise to the threats of Spectre and Meltdown.

Today, just two months after delivery of a 17-qubit superconducting test chip, Intel unveiled "Tangle Lake", a 49-qubit superconducting quantum test chip.

During the Intel keynote, Krzanich said Intel's labs and researchers are "committed" to advancing quantum computing, with a Netherlands-based lab specifically testing and building quantum computing systems.

The company also announced at CES that it has built a relatively large new quantum computing chip, a device that exploits the weird and wonderful rules of quantum physics to do certain types of computation with incredible speed.

According to Krzanich, this development will go some way towards allowing the still-nascent quantum computing to fulfil its potential. The diversity of Intel's workforce was also highlighted at the event.

Chris Eliasmith, a professor who studies neuroscience and computer architectures at the University of Waterloo in Canada, says the biggest challenge with neuromorphic chips in the past has been scaling them up. Spin qubits resemble a single electron transistor, which is similar in many ways to conventional transistors and potentially able to be manufactured with comparable processes.

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Intel showcased it as an autonomous passenger taxi, which is powered by a battery and comes with 18-rotors.

Loihi is Intel's first "neuromorphic" chip - meaning, it can mimic the way a human brain learns and understands.

Krzanich noted the significance of this research and the progress Intel is making.

The company announced that Loihi, its first "neuromorphic" chip - created to mimic the way that a human brain learns and understands - is now "fully functioning" and will be shared with research partners this year. "This incredible technology adds to the breadth of AI solutions that Intel is developing".

About 2 million vehicles from BMW, Nissan and Volkswagen will this year start using Mobileye Road Experience Management (REM) to crowdsource data and so create and easily update low-priced, scalable high-definition maps. Those maps would then be used by autonomous vehicles for navigation.

"This 49-qubit chip pushes beyond our ability to simulate and pushes towards quantum supremacy, the point at which quantum computers far and away surpass the world's best supercomputers", Krzanich said.

In the first half of 2018, Intel plans to partner with leading universities and research organizations and apply Loihi to more complex problems.

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