Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List


Relating to the challenge of democratization of advanced technologies and efforts to protect supply chains

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March 23, 2018,
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) is sponsoring a Proposers Day webcast to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of a Research Announcement (RA) for the Polyplexus Pilot program (Note: participation in the pilot program is open to scientists and researchers at educational institutions only).
Military sensor systems typically require between three and eight years to complete, resulting in sensor technology unable to keep pace with rapidly evolving mission needs. Commercial systems of similar complexity, forced by competitive pressures, are routinely developed in one to two years.
It can cost up to $100 million and take more than two years for a large team of engineers to design custom integrated circuits for specific tasks, such as synchronizing the activity of unmanned aerial vehicles or the real-time conversion of raw radar data into tactically useful 3-D imagery. This is why Defense Department engineers often turn to inexpensive and readily available general-purpose circuits, and then rely on software to make those circuits run the specialized operations they need.
The general-purpose computer has remained the dominant computing architecture for the last 50 years, driven largely by the relentless pace of Moore’s Law. As this trajectory shows signs of slowing, however, it has become increasingly more challenging to achieve performance gains from generalized hardware, setting the stage for a resurgence in specialized architectures. Today’s specialized, application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) — hardware customized for a specific application — offer limited flexibility and are costly to design, fabricate, and program.
Scientific imagination is critical to our economy as well as our national security and defense. Research and development, as an expression of scientific imagination, is now a global and intensely competitive enterprise. This competition is heightened by digital and network disruptors that increase the speed and extend the borders of idea exchange affecting the nature and spread of threats and opportunities. Organizations fundamentally based on shaping the future need to leverage every possible advantage to succeed in this environment.