Communication and Disclosure

NiPS result on Landauer limit in HiPEACINFO



Perugia, 30 Nov. 2016

Breaking the energy efficiency limit for conventional logic gates.
HiPEACINFO, the newsletter from the High Performance Computing community presents the recent experiment made at NiPS Lavoratory.
To know more, read the article here.
Original paper on Nature Communications: Sub-kBT micro-electromechanical irreversible logic gate

PhD special prize award to Miquel López-Suárez

Barcelona, November 18th, 2016


Miquel López-Suárez (left)


Miquel López-Suárez, from NiPS, received his PhD special prize award for his theses "Non-linear Nanoelectromechanical Systems for Energy Harvesting".
The PhD special prizes confer value to theses which have received the qualification of excellence "Cum Laude" and which, having been proposed by the Admissions Committee of each academic programme, stand out for their contribution and advance in the different areas of that University.
The cerimony was held at the Hotel Campusof the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona on  November the 18th of 2016.

Seminar: Sergio Ciliberto, A protocol for reaching equilibrium arbitrary fast


Perugia, 6 Sept. 2016


NiPS Seminar: A protocol for reaching equilibrium arbitrary fast

Prof. Sergio Ciliberto
Laboratoire de Physique de ENSL

Universitè de Lyon


When  a control parameter of a system  is suddenly changed, the accessible phase space changes too and  the system needs its characteristic relaxation time to reach the final equilibrium distribution.  An important and relevant question is whether it is possible to travel from an equilibrium state to another in an arbitrary  time, much shorter  than the natural relaxation time.

Such strategies are reminiscent of those worked out in the recent field of Shortcut to Adiabaticity, that aims at developing protocols, both in quantum and in classical regimes, allowing the system to move as fast as possible from one equilibrium position to a new one, provided that there exist an adiabatic transformation relating the two. Proof of principle experiments have been carried out for isolated systems.

Instead  in  open system the reduction of the relaxation time, which is frequently desired and necessary, is often obtained by complex feedback processes. In this talk, we present  a protocol,named Engineered Swift Equilibration (ESE), that shortcuts time-consuming relaxations. We tested experimentally this protocol  on  a Brownian particle trapped in an optical potential first and then on an AFM cantilever. We show that applying a specific driving, one can reach equilibrium in an arbitrary short time.  We also estimate  the energetic cost to get such a time reduction.

Beyond its fundamental interest, the ESE method paves the way for applications in micro and nano devices, in high speed AFM, or in monitoring mesoscopic chemical or biological process.


  1. Engineered Swift Equilibration,  Ignacio A Martinez; Artyom Petrosyan; David Guéry-Odelin;Emmanuel Trizac; Sergio Ciliberto, Nature Physics, published online: 9 May 2016
  2. Arbitrary fast modulation of an atomic force microscope, Anne Le Cunuder; Ignacio A Martinez; Artyom Petrosyan; David Guéry-Odelin; Emmanuel Trizac; Sergio Ciliberto. to be published in  Applied Physics Letters.

Improving energy efficiency in ICT? Limit is the sky

M. Lopez-Suarez, I. Neri, L. Gammaitoni                                   - Photo by E. Mariani


Perugia, Aug. 15th - 2016

Research recently published on Nature Communications shows that traditional logic gates, used in present computers, could be operated without minimum energy dissipation.

Reducing energy consumption in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) devices has nowadays become a strategic task to further improve performances and diffusion of such technology. Both the future of supercomputing and the dawn of the Internet-of-Things scenario are at risk if the power consumption problem is not solved: too much electric energy is required by ICT devices. On the other hand: aren’t we tired enough of continuously recharging the battery of mobile phones?

To complicate things, the continuous improvement in the efficiency (number of operation per Watt) of computing devices over the years has finally brought the technology close to what was supposed to be a fundamental limit of physics: the so-called Landauer’s limit.

An experiment at NiPS Lab, in Perugia (Italy) shows that a traditional logic gate could, in principle, be operated below the Landauer’s limit and thus the supposed minimum energy expenditure for operating traditional logic gates, does not exist. A good news for those interested in further improving energy efficiency in ICT.

The results of this experiment made by the scientists of NiPS Laboratory, led by Prof. Luca Gammaitoni, at the University of Perugia, published on Nature Communications on 28th June 2016, will be presented in the next few weeks at two international conferences: the ICT-Energy Science conference in Aalborg (DK) on Aug. 17th by Miquel Lopez-Suarez and the ICAND 2016 conference in Denver (CO) on Aug. 29 by L. Gammaitoni. 


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Stochastic Resonance review paper hits 5,000 citations on Google Scholar


The phenomenon of Stochastic Resonance, proposed for the first time in 1981 (R. Benzi, S, Sutera, A. Vulpiani, J. Phys. A 14, L453, 1981; C. Nicolis, G. Nicolis, Tellus 33, 225, 1981) has attracted continuous attention in the last 30 years. Most of its fortune among scientists and the public at large is due to its counter-intuitive characteristic: given a non-linear dynamic system, the degree of order in its behavior can be increased simply by injecting more noise, i.e. increasing the disorder. Clearly what triggered researchers’ curiosity the most was the suggestion that noise, often considered a nuisance of small influence, can play instead a very significant role with potential applications to biological systems and technological devices.
In 1998 an international team of scientists wrote the most comprehensive and, to date, the most appreciated review article to describe this phenomenon:
Title: Stochastic resonance
Journal: REVIEWS OF MODERN PHYSICS Volume: 70 Issue: 1 Pages: 223-287 Published: 1998
Since then the review article has grown to become a highly cited paper that has recently reached 5,000 citations on Google Scholar (3,745 on ISI).
Statistics available at:

Fernando Gonzales Zalba, from Hitachi Cambridge visits NiPS



Perugia, May 11-13, 2016
Dr. Fernando Gonzalez-Zalba Senior Research Scientist Hitachi Cambridge Laboratory, Cambridge, visited NiPS Laboratory for planning future collaborations.
On Wednesday May 11, at 15:00, Dr. Gonzalez-Zalba presented a public seminar on 
Towards quantum computing using silicon-on-insulator transistor technology
Silicon complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology has driven the
success of the semiconductor industry in the last few decades. The classical computational
power has increased exponentially but this progress is bound to reach its fundamental limits
in the next years. We are now starting to see that CMOS technology itself can offer an
alternative to overcome its classical fundamental limits, not in
ation. A quantum computer promises to be exponentially more efficient than classical
computers in solving a specific set of problems, such as database searches and prime
number factorization.

Vivere e sopravvivere nell'entropia



Perugia, April 20, 2016


L. Gammaitoni speaks at the conference "Vivere e sopravvivere nell'entropia" with a talk on "Energia ed Entropia: la strana coppia".

During the event the book "Sporco Mondo" by Franco Vennati will be presented and discussed.


Organization by:

Associazione culturale "Luigi Bonazzi" e Università di Perugia

Comune di Perugia - Infn

Forti, "Promuovere i talenti, far crescere l’eccellenza"

Al chiostro di San Mercuriale la mostra "Maria Sklodowska Curie. Ovunque la prima" Eventi a Forlì


Giovedì 28 Aprile, alle ore 18.30, al Circolo La Scranna di corso Garibaldi n.80 si terrà il convegno “Promuovere i talenti, far crescere l’eccellenza” con la partecipazione di Luca Gammaitoni, Direttore NIPS Laboratory, dipartimento di Fisica dell’Università degli studi di Perugia e Sara Bravaccini, ricercatrice oncologica. Introdurrà Pier Luigi Consorti. Parteciperà l’Assessore comunale di Forlì Raoul Mosconi.

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international ONRG project workshop

Perugia, 12 April 2016


Novel techniques for the realization of energy harvesting systems

capable of substituting/integrating existing batteries

for the powering of autonomous electronic devices.


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