Researchers from Yokohama National University in Japan have developed a prototype microprocessor using superconductor devices that are about 80 times more energy-efficient than CMOS semiconductor devices. Computers currently use 10% of global electricity.
The adiabatic quantum-flux-parametron (AQFP) is a building block for ultra-low-power, high-performance microprocessors, and other computing hardware for the next generation of data centers and communication networks. They made a four bit AQFP that proves practical energy-efficient high-speed computing is possible. The prototype 4-bit AQFP microprocessor called MANA (Monolithic Adiabatic iNtegration Architecture) is the world’s first adiabatic superconductor microprocessor.
A separate chip shows data processing part of the microprocessor can operate up to a clock frequency of 2.5 GHz which is around the level of 2-4 Ghz par for current CMOS computing technologies. They expect this to increase the AQFP chip clockspeeds to 5-10 GHz with some modifications.
The devices have to be cooled 4.2 Kelvin to allow the AQFPs to go into the superconducting state.
We conducted the first successful demonstration of an adiabatic microprocessor based on unshunted Josephson junction (JJ) devices manufactured using a Nb/AlOLₓ/Nb superconductor IC fabrication process. It is a hybrid of RISC and dataflow architectures operating on 4-b data words. We demonstrate register file R/W access, ALU execution, hardware stalling, and program branching performed at 100 kHz under the cryogenic temperature of 4.2 K. We also successfully demonstrated a high-speed breakout chip of the microprocessor execution units up to 2.5 GHz. We use a logic primitive called the adiabatic quantum-flux-parametron (AQFP), which has a switching energy of 1.4 zJ per JJ when driven by a four-phase 5-GHz sinusoidal ac-clock at 4.2 K. These demonstrations show that AQFP logic is capable of both processing and memory operations and that we have a path toward practical adiabatic computing operating at high-clock rates while dissipating very little energy.
SOURCES- Eurekalert, Yokohama National University,IEEE Journal of Solid State Circuit
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.