The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

Close bar

Superconductor Logic Goes Low-Power

Energy-efficient superconducting circuits could be key to future supercomputers

4 min read

Transistor-based semiconductors have dominated the computing industry since its start. But a much more exotic, transistor-less option has long been lurking in the wings. Superconducting circuits, which boast resistance-less wires and ultrafast switches, can perform the tasks that silicon-based systems do in a fraction of the time.

Now new logic designs are emerging that suggest superconducting processors could be not only faster but also tens or even hundreds of times as energy efficient as their CMOS cousins. And these processors could provide a much-needed path to the next generation of supercomputers, proponents say.

Keep Reading ↓Show less

This article is for IEEE members only. Join IEEE to access our full archive.

Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

If you're already an IEEE member, please sign in to continue reading.

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

The Transistor at 75

The past, present, and future of the modern world’s most important invention

2 min read
A photo of a birthday cake with 75 written on it.
Lisa Sheehan
LightGreen

Seventy-five years is a long time. It’s so long that most of us don’t remember a time before the transistor, and long enough for many engineers to have devoted entire careers to its use and development. In honor of this most important of technological achievements, this issue’s package of articles explores the transistor’s historical journey and potential future.

Keep Reading ↓Show less