Hypres’ new, superconductor-based receiver is simpler, cheaper, and more flexible. At its heart is an integrated circuit that includes a niobium RSFQ (rapid single flux quantum) analog-to-digital converter and digital signal processor. At around a few picoseconds, the RSFQ circuit’s characteristic response time is short enough to process multi-gigahertz signals. What’s more, the Hypres receiver needs only one low-cost analog wideband filter, not half a dozen or so higher-cost narrow-band ones; dispenses with local oscillators; and can handle a wideband signal without splitting it into channels. If the signal is reconfigured for different frequency band locations, the receiver can be preprogrammed. No new hardware is needed.
(Excerpt from physicstoday.org coverage of 2011 Industrial Physics Forum, based on a presentation given by HYPRES’ Oleg Mukhanov, PhD, Senior Vice President and General Manager for Government Operations)