The Tiny Circuit That Could

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Jingbo Ye, associate professor of physics

A tiny integrated circuit designed by scientists at SMU may help researchers around the world unravel mysteries about the origins of the universe.

The high-speed SMU “link-on-chip“ (LOC) electronic circuit is microscopic, but also sturdy so that it can withstand extremely harsh conditions. SMU researchers designed the LOC serializer integrated circuit to reliably transmit data in the demanding environment of the world’s largest physics experiment: the ATLAS detector on the Large Hadron Collider.

SMU’s LOC serializer can operate in a radiation environment or at cryogenic temperatures, with high data bandwidth, low-power dissipation and extremely high reliability, says Jingbo Ye, an associate professor of physics in Dedman College who led development of the application-specific circuit. The LOC serializer was perfected over the past three years in an SMU Physics Department laboratory.

The Large Hadron Collider, a 17-mile, circular high-tech tunnel about 100 meters underground near Geneva, Switzerland, is being developed by CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research – a scientific consortium of physicists, including many from SMU. Within the LHC, trillions of protons are smashed apart each second so physicists can analyze the resulting particle shower.
– Margaret Allen

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