Cambridge led GBP 2,7 million superconducting project could lead to new HPC systems


17 Apr 2016 - A University of Cambridge-led project aiming to develop a new architecture for future computing based on superconducting spintronics - technology designed to increase the energy-efficiency of high-performance computers and data storage - has been announced.

Led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, the "Superspin" project aims to develop prototype devices that will pave the way for a new generation of ultra-low power supercomputers, capable of processing vast amounts of data, but at a fraction of the huge energy consumption of comparable facilities at the moment.

Stemming from the discovery of spin polarized supercurrents in 2010 at the University of Cambridge, recent research, along with that of other institutions, has however shown that it is possible to power spintronic devices with a superconductor. The aim of the new GBP2.7 million project, which is being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, is to use this as the basis for a new style of computing architecture.

Although work is already underway in several other countries to exploit superconducting spintronics, the Superspin project is unprecedented in terms of its magnitude and scope. Researchers will explore how the technology could be applied in future computing as a whole, examining fundamental problems such as spin generation and flow, and data storage, while also developing sample devices. According to the project proposal, the work has the potential to establish Britain as a leading centre for this type of research and "ignite a technology field".

Ad Emmen