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Challenges in Modern IT

Information is one of the basic needs of modern society. It affects many aspects of our everyday life. In order to cope with the grand challenges humankind will face in the future, information and communication technologies must continue to evolve at a rapid pace.


The exponential increase in data traffic, the demands on computation power as well as the increasing need to guard against security breaches and maintain online privacy all calls for ever-larger and more complex IT systems. This of course results in exorbitant IT energy costs. With the end of the exponential growth of computing power, the so-called “Moore´s law”, in sight and the von Neumann bottleneck slowing down on-chip data processing, groundbreaking improvements in the performance of information processing systems are mandatory. These will result from revolutionary breakthroughs in two fundamental areas: quantum physics, in particular with the exploration of quantum phenomena in materials and devices, and biology, through the investigation of biological and neuronal information systems.

The PGI contributes to both of these important areas. We have long-standing expertise in research on new phenomena in condensed matter, the development of novel materials and functional nanostructures as well as innovation in experimental and theoretical methods, all with a special emphasis on potential long-term applications in information technology and related fields. Quantum and neuromorphic computing have become our special focus. Both technologies have the potential to handle certain types of calculations faster and more energy-efficiently than today's computers. In quantum computing these calculations include, for example, optimization problems and the issue of secure encryption, in neuromorphic computing, pattern recognition.