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Superconducting electronics coming to market

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1 Author(s)
A. I. Braginski ; Inst. fur Schicht- und Ionentech., Forschungszentrum Julich GmbH, Germany

Superconducting electronic (SCE) products have been commercially available for over 25 years. However, the market remained extremely small. A conservative estimate of the total 1997 volume gives, approximately, US$ 30 million. Until 1997, LTS SQUID systems, mostly for biomagnetic research, represented the dominant share. High-temperature superconductivity (HTS) hadn't yet had any real impact on the market. However, in 1998 HTS filter subsystems for wireless telecommunication receiver front end represent a small, but rapidly growing segment of the market. This paper gives highlights of technical achievements and progress in SQUIDs, and in SCE for wireless, while emphasizing obstacles to and opportunities for much larger markets. A summary of an industry survey conducted prior to writing the paper is also included. Most other SCE products and the identified potential new products, LTS and HTS, represent very small niches having little chance for major growth. These are not discussed. A notable exception is single flux quantum digital electronics. It does not command any market share today, but still has the largest long-term potential for a very large market in telecommunications and in massive data processing.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity  (Volume:9 ,  Issue: 2 )