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Providing Students with Access to Superconducting Electronics and Circuits

March 12, 2019

ECE Assistant Professor Yanzhi Wang and ECE Chair Srinivas Tadigadapa were awarded a $300K NSF IRES grant for a "U.S.-Japan International Research Experience for Students on Superconducting Electronics".

Abstract Source: NSF

The objective of this IRES project is to provide U.S. students with international research experience in superconducting electronics and circuits as future computing paradigms in Yokohama National University (YNU), Japan, which has one of the world's strongest research center in superconducting electronics and circuits. The project will select five (5) graduate students and two (2) undergraduate students nation-wide each year and support them to visit YNU over a period of eight (8) weeks. The project will enable U.S. students to conduct high-quality research on next-generation superconducting electronics, in collaboration with their faculty mentors in YNU. Such experiences expose U.S. students to the international research community at a critical early stage in their careers. Through participating in this program, U.S. students will gain extensive experience on the research of superconducting electronics, on the culture in Japan, and on performing and collaborating in an international environment in general. The experience will also be shared to the broader community through the personal social media, Web 2.0 based forum, carefully integrated activities such as research for undergraduate students, minorities and underrepresented groups, as well as outreach events for local schools. It will be beneficial for the STEM and underrepresented student education as well as the advancing of superconducting and semiconductor industry in U.S.

Being widely-known for low energy dissipation and ultra-fast switching speed, Josephson Junction-based superconductor logic families have been proposed and implemented to process analog and digital signals. It has been perceived to be important candidate to replace state-of-the-art CMOS due to the superior potential in operation speed and energy efficiency. The project contains well-planned recruitment, preparation, mentoring and post-trip activities. The proposed research address fundamental problems in the circuit design, electronic design automation, and applications in superconducting electronics that need to be addressed urgently. The first project deals with the integration of AQFP technology with the efficient implementation of deep learning systems, where the latter is a core research topic in hardware and AI. The second project deals with efficient design of AQFP and RSFQ superconducting circuits and will greatly enhance the performance, efficiency and reliability. The third project aims to develop a design automation toolflow of superconducting electronics, which is currently lacking and will significantly reduce the development time of superconducting circuits. It is anticipated that with the close interaction with YNU, the breakthroughs made from these projects can have a significant impact on future superconducting electronics development and supercomputing systems, as well as the technology in the U.S. in corresponding areas.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.