Rapid single flux quantum

From Academic Kids

In electronics, rapid single flux quantum (RSFQ) is a digital electronics technology that relies on quantum effects in superconducting materials to switch signals, instead of transistors. However, it is not a quantum computing technology in the traditional sense. Even so, RSFQ is very different from the traditional CMOS transistor technology used in every day computers:

  • It is based on superconductors, so a cryogenic environment is required
  • Instead of voltage levels, digital signals are represented by picosecond-duration pulses that travel down superconducting microstrip transmission lines.
  • The pulses are single quanta at the lowest energy level allowed by quantum mechanics in the system, and hence cannot change significantly in transit. They do not lose energy, spread out, or interfere.
  • The quantum pulses are switched by Josephson junctions instead of transistors
  • Unlike normal circuitry, signals cannot be split into multiple outputs without active circuit elements
Contents

Advantages

  • Interoperable with CMOS circuitry
  • Extremely fast operating frequency (up to hundreds of gigahertz)
  • Low power consumption
  • Existing chip manufacturing technology can be adapted to manufacture RSFQ circuitry
  • Good tolerance to manufacturing variations
  • RSFQ circuitry is essentially self clocking, making asynchronous designs much more practical.

Disadvantages

Applications

References

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