Possible Intel, GlobalFoundaries Merger Would Tie Together Two Quantum-Curious Companies

Horse Ridge Chip
A combined Intel-GlobalFoundries could create a giant that sees market possibilities in quantum computing. Pictured is Intel’s Horse Ridge, cryogenic control chip for qubits.

Recent reports suggest that Intel Corp. is planning to acquire GlobalFoundaries for $30 billion. The move would not just tie together two world leaders in classical computing, but combine two organizations that are increasingly looking to stake claims in the quantum world.

Several outlets are reporting on the potential deal. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Intel is in initial talks to buy GlobalFoundries Inc. The WSJ indicates that the deal is preliminary and that officials from GlobalFoundries, which is owned by Mubadala Investment Co., an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government,  based in the U.S., say they have not been in talks with Intel. GlobalFoundries could pursue an initial public offering instead.

According to the WSJ, this would be Intel’s biggest acquisition ever and help the semiconductor pioneer plans make more chips for tech companies. Another factor likely weighing on the proposal is the dominance of non-U.S. semiconductor manufacturers,  an increasing problem for U.S. businesses and policymakers.

Not mentioned in the flurry reports are the impacts on the fledgling quantum companies.

Intel has its own quantum ambitions. The company recently announced its Horse Ridge II, a second-generation cryogenic control chip. The company touted its ability to manipulate and read qubit states and control the potential of several gates required to entangle multiple qubits. Intel and QuTech also published a study in Nature in which they demonstrated the ability to operate qubits at temperatures above 1 degree Kelvin.

In a statement on the advance and Intel’s commitment to quantum, Jim Clarke, director of Quantum Hardware, Components Research Group, Intel, said, “Horse Ridge II further streamlines quantum circuit controls, and we expect this progress to deliver increased fidelity and decreased power output, bringing us one step closer toward the development of a ‘traffic-free’ integrated quantum circuit.”

GlobalFoundries is also establishing partnerships in the quantum world. The company and PsiQuantum, a leader in photonic quantum computing company, recently announced that the two companies are manufacturing the silicon photonic and electronic chips that form the foundation of PsiQuantum’s Q1 system.

It’s a critical move for PsiQuantum, according to company officials.

“This is a major achievement for both the quantum and semiconductor industries, demonstrating that it’s possible to build the critical components of a quantum computer on a silicon chip, using the standard manufacturing processes of a world-leading semiconductor fab,” said Pete Shadbolt, chief strategy officer and co-founder of PsiQuantum said in a TQD story. “When we first envisioned PsiQuantum, we knew that scaling the system would be the existential question. Together with GLOBALFOUNDRIES, we have validated the manufacturing path for silicon photonics and are confident that by the middle of this decade, PsiQuantum will have completely stood up all the manufacturing lines and processes necessary to begin assembling a final machine.”

FormFactor, a leader in providing essential test and measurement technologies to the semiconductor industry, also acknowledged input from both Intel and GlobalFoundries provided a read on the increasing momentum of quantum.

Intel has a market cap is around $225 billion and revenue of about $77.87 billion. GlobalFoundries has around 15,000 employees in 14 countries and holds more than 10,000 patents and applications.

 




Matt Swayne
Matt Swayne
Matt Swayne is a contributor at The Quantum Daily. He focuses on breaking news about quantum discoveries and quantum computing. Matt enjoys working on -- and with -- startups and is currently working on a media studies master's degree, specializing in science communication.

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