Intelligence Value

The SuperCables program aims to develop high–data rate and low-power data egress solutions for cryogenic electronics to help meet the U.S. Intelligence Community’s increasing need for energy efficient electronics and sensitive detection systems.


The SuperCables program began in June of 2019, with the goal to develop an optical fiber alternative to standard metal wire connections between room temperature and cryogenic components. Metal wire connectors limit bandwidth and cause significant heating. SuperCables is developing cryogenic electro-optic modulators to convert low–level electrical digital signals into optical data. This enables data egress through optical fibers to room temperature data processing systems, leveraging the intrinsic higher bandwidth and lower loss of optical fibers.

The SuperCables program is a 24-month effort to deliver a self-contained unit for data conversion at cryogenic temperatures. This unit will include fiber–to–optical couplers and any necessary room temperature support electronics. The program goal is to achieve 50 gigabit per second data egress, while realizing orders of magnitude lower power consumption than traditional techniques. This will allow cryogenic systems to reach previously unobtainable aggregate data egress rates, while maintaining compact, low–power operation.

Related Publications

To access SuperCables program-related publications, please visit Google Scholar.

Proposers' Day Briefings

SuperCables Logo

Contact Information

Program Manager

Main Office

Related Program(s)

Broad Agency Announcement (BAA)

Link(s) to BAA


Solicitation Status


Proposers' Day Date

November 7, 2017

BAA Release Date

June 5, 2018

Proposal Due Date

July 24, 2018

BAA Closing Date

August 31, 2019

Program Summary

Testing and Evaluation Partners

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Laboratory for Physical Sciences
  • Sandia National Laboratories
  • Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific
  • Office of Naval Research

Prime Performers

  • Boston University 
  • Raytheon BBN Technologies 
  • sdPhotonics
  • Yale University