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New EU Seventh Framework “S-PULSE” (A24)

10 months ago
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December 21, 2007 (A24).  The European 7th Framework Project “S-PULSE” (Shrink-Path of Ultra-Low Power Superconducting Electronics) will start on January 1st 2008 under the leadership (coordination) of the Institute of Photonic Technology (IPHT) in Jena, Germany. The project consortium includes 15 partners from universities, research institutes and high-tech companies of Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Great Britain and South Africa.

The focus of the work will be to establish a new electronics family based on quantum effects in superconductors. The Rapid Single Flux Quantum (RSFQ)
electronics provides an ultra-low power consumption of only 1atojoule per logic operation (10000 times less than a modern transistor) and is therefore a promising future alternatively to today’s CMOS electronics.  The RSFQ is capable to operate at clock frequencies above 100 GHz. The further growth of packaging density in conventional integrated CMOS circuits is already limited by their power density generating a massive thermal heating. The RSFQ electronics provides an interesting perspective for several special applications and should facilitate further progress beyond today’s scaling limits.

The first main target of the project is to disseminate the university knowledge of the RSFQ technique to potentially interested users.  Besides facilitating presentations at scientific conferences, the project S-PULSE aims at the education of researchers and engineers.  Industrial partners will be educated and supported in their long term project planning via special workshops and seminars on circuit design, packaging and example applications of RSFQ solutions.

The second main target is to enhance European competitiveness in
superconducting electronics, and to define and coordinate strategic research and
development activities, in a way similar to the semiconductor roadmap ITRS. New approaches to improving packaging density and device miniaturization down to nanostructures will be analyzed in several research studies.

The project should focus the strategic planning in Europe to keep track of the strong progress in this field, especially in Japan and the US.  Further information will become accessible via the new PULSE webpage of IPHT (of course with links from and to FLUXONICS).