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February 24, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Conspiracy theorists like to believe that IBM made a lot of noise about Josephson Junctions in the late 1970s in order to send Japan Inc haring off down a blind alley – and felt fully when IBM dumped the technology in 1983 and 1984 – but if so, the Japanese look set to have the last laugh: not only has NEC Corp developed a 1K-bit memory chip using the Junctions – first conceived by British physicist Brian Josephson – with a blindingly fast 570pS access time, five times better than today’s fastest statics (CI No 871), but Fujitsu Ltd, which has taken the technology very seriously for a decade or so now, has developed a 4-bit microprocessor using Josephson elements that’s 25 times faster than its silicon counterparts; the longest journey starts with a single step, and Intel started out with a 4-bit microprocessor, the 4004, back in 1971, and look where Intel is now.

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