Browse Prior Art Database

Low Power Cryogenic Interface System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000047960D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Dec-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-08
Document File: 2 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Faris, SM: AUTHOR

Abstract

This article relates generally to interface systems which provide access to computers in one environment from another environment and more particularly to an interface system which provides access to a computer in a cryogenic environment from a room temperature environment. In an earlier article[1], the advantages of accessing cryogenic systems optically have been stressed, and schemes to convert electrical signals to optical signals have been proposed. In particular, the use of superconductive switches to drive a light-emitting element was shown to be feasible. Still there remains the desire to reduce the power dissipated by the light-emitting element. In this article, the light-emitting element is replaced by light switches using thin film optical waveguides in electro-optic substrates, such as lithium niobate (LiNbO3)[2-4].

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Low Power Cryogenic Interface System

This article relates generally to interface systems which provide access to computers in one environment from another environment and more particularly to an interface system which provides access to a computer in a cryogenic environment from a room temperature environment. In an earlier article[1], the advantages of accessing cryogenic systems optically have been stressed, and schemes to convert electrical signals to optical signals have been proposed. In particular, the use of superconductive switches to drive a light-emitting element was shown to be feasible. Still there remains the desire to reduce the power dissipated by the light-emitting element. In this article, the light-emitting element is replaced by light switches using thin film optical waveguides in electro-optic substrates, such as lithium niobate (LiNbO3)[2-4]. Serially disposed superconducting devices drive the electro-optic switches, shown in the above figure, to convert input electrical digital signals to optical output signals transmitted through optical fibers. Instead of light being generated in the cryogenic environment, it is supplied from the room temperature environment via fibers to the switches shown. Since these optical transmission media have extremely low losses, the power dissipated in the cryogenic environment is very low, leading to a potentially low power I/O system. The optical switches shown are made using thin film techniques and hence are...