Russian researchers propose 100x faster memory

March 17, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
Moscow memory
A group of Russian scientists have developed a control system for superconducting memory cells that take less than a nanosecond to read or write, hundreds of times faster than similar memories in use today.

The scientists, from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology (MIPT) and from Moscow State Univeristy, have reported their work in an article published in the journal Applied Physics Letters .

 

The work is a theoretical study that predicts the existence of a bistable state in a complex superconducting Josephson Junction device. An implementation of the device may require supercooling for operation making it less than practical for some applications.

 

A team led by Alexander Golubov, the head of MIPT’s Laboratory of Quantum Topological Phenomena in Superconducting Systems, have proposed a memory cell based on quantum effects in a type of Josephson Junction, a superconductor-dielectric-superconductor sandwich, in which one side of the junction includes a combination of ferromagnet and normal metal. This should be bistable with switching between the two states (the one and the zero) effected by an electric current injected laterally into the structure. The state of the system can be non-destructively read by an electric current flowing across the junction.

Moscow memory
Superconducting currents when reading various states of the memory cell. The greater current the larger arrow. Source: MIPT.

Read and write operations are predicted to take a few hundreds of picoseconds depending on the materials and the geometry of the particular system.

"In addition, our method requires only one ferromagnetic layer, which means that it can be adapted to so-called single flux quantum logic circuits, and this means that there will be no need to create an entirely new architecture for a processor. A computer based on single flux quantum logic can have a clock speed of hundreds of gigahertz, and its power consumption will be dozens of times lower," said Golubov, in a statement.

Related links and articles:

www.mipt.ru

Applied Physics Letters article  

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