The researchers from Slovenian public research organization encompassing a variety of research fields including superconductors and nanowires have developed a memory device suitable for superconducting computers.
Developing a superconducting computer that could outperform conventional computers with high speed and low power consumption has been a desirable goal for a long time. One of the remaining obstacles still is the development of a fast, scalable, low power memory. An example of a known proposal for a memory solution is a superconducting-nanowire memory element operated by nanowire cryotrons. Various hybrid devices also have been developed in the past. Here, a memory device that combines a switchable resistive element, with a superconductor element to control the switching, is proposed.
The offered memory device consists of a narrow channel made of a memristive non-volatile charge density wave (CDW) material.
The memristive non-volatile CDW material may be referred to as a switchable resistive element. The normal state after cooling down to cryogenic temperature is high resistance state. Above a certain current threshold, the resistive element is caused to undergo a transition to the low resistance state which constitutes the Write operation. The reverse transition from the low resistance state to the high resistance state of the memristive element (the Erase operation) is caused when the current exceeds a certain but different value of critical current, changing the shunt resistance to a high value.
The superconducting memory device described may be in the form of a nanowire or a three-terminal device such as nano-cryotron (nTron) device. The suitable device operating temperature is 40 K or lower. The width of the device is few tens of nm enabling high scalability.
The proof of concept for the memory device proposed would be the first step of cooperation.
The technical cooperation is sought for the development of the prototype device.
The research cooperation agreement is sought for creating a partnership and further research toward a fully functional memory chip. The partner would need to provide a technology for designing, testing and manufacturing of the superconductor-based integrated circuits.