Intel has unveiled a new chip for quantum computing and delivered it to a European research group. The new 17-qubit superconducting chip is the first such device Intel has discussed publicly.

It follows the announcement of a US$50 million partnership with Dutch research organisation QuTech two years ago.

The design is said to improve reliability and thermal performance, as well as reducing radio frequency interference.

Intel is in a race with Google, IBM, Microsoft and others to plant a firm footing in quantum computing. It believes quantum computing won’t replace today’s computers – but augment them.