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WORKING ON THE COMPUTERS OF THE FUTURE

EU Funds Two International Physics Projects

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Portrait des Dortmunder Phyiskers Prof. Dr. Mirko Cinchetti: Ein Mann mittleren Alters mit braunen Haaren, Bart und Brille lächelt leicht in die Kamera © Nikolas Golsch​/​TU Dort­mund
Professor Mirko Cinchetti from the Faculty of Physics at TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is working on the foundations for new computer technologies in the frame­work of two in­ter­na­tio­nal re­search projects.

The working group led by experimental physicist Professor Mirko Cinchetti from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is to receive EU funding of almost a million euros for re­search into new technologies that could in fu­ture revolutionize computer processors and data storage media.

In the frame­work of its “Horizon 2020” program, the EU has approved re­search funds of over € 6.5 million for two in­ter­na­tio­nal re­search projects involving Dort­mund physicist Professor Mirko Cinchetti. Of this total sum, his re­search group at TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity will receive more than € 900,000.

The two projects have been allocated funding in the FET Open category, which is open to all topics and makes funds available for high-risk scientific and technological re­search projects at a very early stage. The call, as it says, is particularly aimed at re­search projects with “radically new ideas” for “break­through technologies”.

Research on new technologies for computer processors and data storage media

“With the SINFONIA and INTERFAST re­search projects, we want to explore potential applications of molecular systems in the field of electronics and computer technology,” explains Professor Cinchetti. The objective of the projects is to advance existing concepts from basic re­search in the direction of possible applications. In this way, they could later be used in commercially available electronics with the help of technology multinationals.

The work conducted by Professor Cinchetti and his in­ter­na­tio­nal colleagues within SINFONIA could contribute to a more efficient technology superseding – in the long term – semiconductor technology, which has formed the basis for the processors in our computers for many decades. The re­search team plans to produce hybrid structures from mol­ecules and antiferromagnets, which can be used as logical computing circuits in what is known as magnonics. In comparison to conventional semiconductor technology, magnonics circuits have the advantage that no electrical current flows through them. As a consequence, they have a very low energy demand, generate hardly any heat, and can work substantially faster. This should facilitate the development of considerably more powerful processors.

Within the INTERFAST proj­ect, the researchers are also endeavoring to develop the foundations for a new data storage technology. Compared to conventional storage methods, this should be characterized by a significantly higher in­for­mation density.

Extensive in­ter­na­tio­nal collaboration

Due to the large number of proposals, the probability of receiving FET Open funding was under 10 percent – only 58 of the 902 projects for which a proposal was submitted were awarded funding.

Apart from TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity, numerous other re­search in­sti­tu­ti­ons from Italy, Spain, France, Ireland, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom are participating in the two projects. Their joint work within SINFONIA started in April 2021 and is to last four years. Professor Cinchetti’s re­search group has € 500,000 at its disposal for this. Then, one month later, May 2021 will see the start of INTERFAST, which is planned as a three-year proj­ect. The researchers from Dort­mund will receive a further € 400,000 for this proj­ect.

Further in­for­mation on the re­search projects:

SINFONIA

INTERFAST

 

Contact for further in­for­mation:

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Location & approach

The campus of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity is located close to interstate junction Dort­mund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dort­mund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is “Dort­mund-Eichlinghofen” (closer to South Campus), and from B 1 / A 40 “Dort­mund-Dorstfeld” (closer to North Campus). Signs for the uni­ver­si­ty are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dort­mund.

To get from North Campus to South Campus by car, there is the connection via Vo­gel­pothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at North Campus and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.

TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity has its own train station (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät”). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dort­mund main station (“Dort­mund Hauptbahnhof”) and Düsseldorf main station via the “Düsseldorf Airport Train Station” (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The uni­ver­si­ty is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.

You can also take the bus or subway train from Dort­mund city to the uni­ver­si­ty: From Dort­mund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station “Stadtgarten”, usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At “Stadtgarten” you switch trains and get on line U42 towards “Hombruch”. Look out for the Station “An der Palmweide”. From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dort­mund main station to the stop “Dort­mund Kampstraße”. From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop “Dort­mund Wittener Straße”. Switch to bus line 447 and get off at “Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”.

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity. There are two stations on North Campus. One (“Dort­mund Uni­ver­si­tät S”) is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the uni­ver­si­ty directly with the city of Dort­mund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the “Technologiepark” and (via South Campus) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at North Campus and offers a direct connection to South Campus every five minutes.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent “Technologiepark”.

Site Map of TU Dort­mund Uni­ver­sity (Second Page in English).