December 13, 2006

2007 superconducting related technology predictions

‘Top-10’ forecast list released today by Elie K. Track, Ph.D., senior partner, HYPRES Inc., a leading developer of superconducting microelectronics technology.

1. Lab demonstrations that can lead to an advanced, low-cost MRI machine that leverages superconducting technology. Ultimately, this will make it easier and cheaper to screen for many serious medical conditions, such as breast cancer and brain tumors.

2. Ultra high speed Internet switches using superconducting technology to process optical signals in interconnecting circuits, leading to 100 Tbps routers.

3). High-capacity power lines that use cables made out of superconductors to efficiently carry electricity to areas that are without power infrastructure. These innovative cables carry 3-5 times more current than traditional power lines of the same size. There will be more comprehensive demos and implementations in 2007.

4). The demonstration of a wireless digital receiver, using superconducting electronics, outside of the laboratory.

5). The Food and Drug Administration granting approval for use of superconducting sensors in advanced magnetic cardio-imaging machines that will be used to more effectively screen for coronary artery disease.

6). The proven design of a 10 TFLOPS workstation computer, to replace room-sized systems. This superconductor-charged system would have a number of applications, including greatly increasing the accuracy of weather forecasting.

7). Demonstration of a superconductor-based ship propulsion motor for the U.S. Navy, leading to dramatic savings in size, weight and power needs for future transportation systems. (35 MW motor demonstration)

8). Progress in the development of an analog quantum computer, which is expected to improve the speed for processing complex mathematical computations from years to minutes.

9). The successful demonstration of the SCUBA-2 infrared camera on the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii, the most complex demonstration ever of superconducting electronics – will provide an unprecedented view of the universe.

10). The addition of an AC Josephson voltage standard device, leading to sharp improvements in the fundamental accuracy of measurements of electrical signals. This would be an enormous breakthrough in the metrology community.

Honorable mentions: National Security Agency funding for superconducting supercomputer, demonstration of Bell’s inequalities (fundamental advancement in quantum mechanics physics), and improved superconducting materials that allow superconductivity to take place at higher temperatures.