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The Flux-1 chip is an RSFQ implementation of a small general-purpose processing engine with target clock frequency of 20 GHz and over 5000 gates (over 60 K Josephson junctions) connected in an irregular pattern. The scale of this design task forced us to re-think conventional RSFQ design methodology and implement new approaches suitable for digital systems of this level of complexity and beyond. This paper presents lessons learned from the Flux-1 effort, mostly concentrating on chip physical design. Here we discuss our approach to the circuit design and verification of individual gates, gate interconnect using passive transmission lines and use of CAD tools for design automation and verification.
Date of Publication: June 2003