CF LogoRC’05:  The First Int’l. Workshop on
Reversible Computing

A Key Challenge for 21st Century Computing

a special session at
ACM Computing Frontiers 2005 (CF’05)
Ischia , Italy, May 4-7, 2005


RC '05Group photo from the “Reversible Computing Dinner,” held May 4 at the O’ Sole Mio Pizzeria, courtesy Ed Fredkin & Henry Baker è

Left to right: Dan Miller, ?, Henry Baker, Tom Toffoli, Lev Levitin, Mike Frank, Joyce & Ed Fredkin, Nick Mehta, Sarah Frost, Erik Forsberg, Erik DeBenedictis, Marios Papaefthymiou, and (front, seated) Kyle Wheeler.  (Email me with corrections.) Some more photos (from Kyle Wheeler of Notre Dame) can be found here and here.

·        Workshop Program

·        Talk Abstracts and Slides (speakers, please email me yours)

·        The official Proceedings can be found by searching for “Computing Frontiers” at the ACM Digital Library.  [Access requires institutional subscription or ACM membership.  Make sure you’re looking at the 2nd conference (2005), and find the sessions named “Part 1” – “Part 4”, “Track 1”, and “Track 13” in the table of contents.]

·        Notes on outcomes of workshop discussions (for community feedback)

·        Join our new reversible computing community group/mailing list called “revcomp” at Yahoo!, for discussions and announcements:

Subscribe to revcomp

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Original Call For Participation (PDF at RC05-CFP.pdf)

Raw digital computing performance per unit of power consumption cannot improve for very many orders of magnitude beyond present levels, unless we can develop computing technologies that dissipate arbitrarily small fractions of signal energies (and generate arbitrarily little new entropy) with each logic operation performed.  Although it has never been proven to be impossible to approach the limit of thermodynamically reversible operation in practical machines, skepticism and misconceptions regarding this subject abound, and will probably persist until complete, concrete, and competitive reversible computing systems have been built and demonstrated.

This workshop will attempt to gather together leading experts in the field of reversible computing, to identify and discuss the important open technical problems in reversible computing, while also addressing the social, political and educational issues that threaten to prevent the practical realization of reversible computing within our lifetimes.  The goal of the discussion will be to reach a consensus regarding what concrete steps we researchers should take in the near future to help the field overcome these barriers.

The session will begin with a short introductory tutorial on reversible computing, continue with paper presentations (with emphasis on new technological developments and important high-level issues), and conclude with a panel discussion framed to debate the key issues, and attain a group consensus, together with a plan for further action.

Paper submissions are due by the CF ’05 conference’s extended deadline of Dec. 20, 2004.  See the CF ’05 website (link above) for additional instructions for authors.  Accepted papers will be published in the CF’05 proceedings.  The length limit is 6,000 words.  Until further notice, submissions to this session should also be emailed to the session organizer, Michael P. Frank (


Session Organizer:

  • Michael P. Frank, Florida State Univ. (USA )


·        Sarah Frost, Notre Dame (USA )


Tentative list of speakers & attendees (as of 11/18/04) includes:

·        Dmitri Averin, SUNY Stonybrook (USA )

·        Henry Baker, Baker Capital (USA )

·        Charles H. Bennett, IBM (USA )

·        Erik DeBenedictis, Sandia Nat’l Lab (USA )

·        Erik Forsberg, KTH (Sweden )

·        Edward Fredkin, CMU West (USA )

·        Dan Miller, CMU West (USA )

·        Wolfgang Porod, Notre Dame (USA )

·        Yvan Van Rentergem, Ghent (Belgium )

·        Vasili Semenov, SUNY Stonybrook (USA )

·        Tommasso Toffoli, Boston University (USA )

·        Paul Vitanyi, CWI (Netherlands )

·        Alexis De Vos, Ghent (Belgium)

·        Colin Williams, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab (USA )


Additional invited speakers include:

·        Norman Margolus, MIT (USA )

·        Craig Lent, Notre Dame (USA )

·        Lars Svensson, Chalmers (Sweden)


Program committee members:

·        Cristian Calude, U. Auckland (New Zealand )

·        Konstantin Likharev, SUNY (USA )

·        Tommaso Toffoli, Boston U. (USA )


Topics include:

·        Theoretical foundations

·        Reversible logic networks

·        Reversible processor architectures

·        Physics of reversible device implementations

·        Clocking, synchronization, and energy recovery issues

·        Systems engineering for reversible computing

·        Technical objections to reversible computing, and answers to them

·        Cultural barriers to reversible computing


Now moot items:

·         Call for Corporate Sponsors (please redistribute widely)