Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Globalization

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

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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.
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.
The integrated circuit (IC) is a core component of many electronic systems developed for the Department of Defense. However, the DoD consumes a very small percentage of the total IC production in the world. As a result of the globalization of the IC marketplace, much of the advanced IC production has moved to offshore foundries, and these parts make up the majority of ICs used in today’s military systems.
The United States does not have a comprehensive program to certify that integrated circuits (ICs) going into U.S. weapons systems do not contain malicious circuits. In response to these concerns, DARPA has initiated its TRUST in Integrated Circuits program to develop technologies that will ensure the trust of ICs used in military systems, but designed and fabricated under untrusted conditions.