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 In Focus

Gigahertz electronics

Published 2000-01-08

In April 2003 Dr Anna Kidiyarova-Shevchenko, Assistant Professor at the Department of Microelectronics and Nanoscience, Chalmers University of Technology, was granted an annual funding of SEK 375 000 up to four years, for cooperation with Professor Mikhail Kupriyanov, Microelectronics Division, Nuclear Physics Institute, Moscow State University within "Gigahertz digital electronics".

In 1989, in Moscow State University a new way of constructing digital superconducting circuits was suggested based on processing digital information in the form of a single magnetic flux quanta. After the 13 years passed, the superconducting digital electronics became a mature technology rapidly evolving over the world and targeting many applications important for the future development of the society. For example, in the ¡±Gigahertz electronics¡± project Chalmers and Moscow State University groups are developing digital signal processer for 3G cellular base stations that will allow to solve very difficult problem of the interference rejection and therefor 3 times increase of the cells capacity.

The term ¡±superconductivity¡± stands for unique properties of the materials, like zero resistance, at very low temperature. Fundamentally, operating temperature around 4.2 K makes it possible for each bit of digital information to carry very low energy and to be processed at extremely high speed. In order to be transmitted, processed and stored, this bit always requires a physical carrier and medium for the carrier. In superconducting circuits the carrier is an ultra short voltage pulse (< 10 ps) and medium are superconducting wires that allow transmission of the pulse on a long distance almost without any losses in energy. Each pulse carriers very little energy ¡Ö 10− 18 J and has an area equal to fundamental quantum constant, single magnetic flux quanta.

Even fundamentally superconducting digital technology gives a lot of advantages there are many physics and engineering problems that have to be solved in order to fully explore them. In this project we combine expertise in circuit and system design of the Chalmers group and the one of the best theoretical school in superconductivity from Moscow State University. We cover all aspects of the development of the digital technology starting from theoretical and experimental investigations of the materials and active devices, ending at optimization of the system design of the digital receiver at 3G base stations.

Superconducting classical electronics offers a superior enhancement of the computation capacity of the digital circuits, but even the speed of 100 times more than in current electronics will not allow to solve such an important tasks as weather prediction, simulation of the biomolecules, economics prediction even the optimum automatic design of the digital circuit themselves. The common feature of all these problems is in exponentially growths of the computational capacity with increasing complexity of the system. Even for all computers in a world it would takes million of years to describe properties of the human genes. The reason behind is that classical representation of the digital information and classical algorithms are not suitable for describing these systems in the same way as classical physics is not suitable for explanation of quantum properties of light. However problems can be solved using, so called quantum computers, circuits that operate at quantum regime.

The basic building block of a quantum computer is called a qubit, and a large number of qubit candidates have been suggested. The most promising solid state qubits demonstrated experimentally until now are based on superconducting Josephson tunnel junctions. However, so far only relatively primitive systems with limited numbers of qubits have been tested and the major limitation is interface between classical and quantum electronics. In this project we are investigating possibility to combine on one chip both classical and quantum superconducting circuits, to obtain robust solution for future quantum computers.

The collaboration between Chalmers and Moscow State University is crucial for the success of the project. There are two many research lines that practically impossible to cover within one research group. The exchange visits allows to distribute the tasks, efficient use of resources and, what is the most important, to give an excellent education for PhD students from the both universities.

Senast uppdaterad: 04-11-16 10:49

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