Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List


Compatible interconnection of disparate components and systems

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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—the transistor-scaling that has allowed for a half-century of rapid progress in electronics. 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.
The use of intellectual-property (IP) blocks–discrete, modular, reusable blocks that deliver frequently used circuit functions—has significantly streamlined the design and creation of microchips. Just as the number of transistors per chip has grown dramatically in line with Moore’s Law—the transistor scaling that has allowed for 50 years of electronics advancement–so too has the number of IP blocks on those same chips.
The efficient discovery and production of new molecules is essential for a range of military capabilities—from developing safe chemical warfare agent simulants and medicines to counter emerging threats, to coatings, dyes, and specialty fuels for advanced performance. Current approaches to develop molecules for specific applications, however, are intuition-driven, mired in slow iterative design and test cycles, and ultimately limited by the specific molecular expertise of the chemist who has to test each candidate molecule by hand.
Parallelism – or the act of several processors simultaneously executing on an application or computation – has been increasingly embraced by the microelectronics industry as a way of sustaining demand for increased system performance. Today, parallel computing architectures have become pervasive across all application domains and system scales – from multicore processing units in consumer devices to high-performance computing in DoD systems.
First announced in June 2017, DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) – a five-year, upwards of $1.5B investment in the future of domestic electronic systems – is rolling out the second phase of its research priorities. Comprised of several ongoing DARPA programs – including the six recently awarded ERI “Page 3” programs –ERI addresses long-foreseen obstacles to Moore’s Law and the challenges impeding 50 years of rapid progress in electronics advancement. The next phase of ERI will focus on further enmeshing the technology needs and capabilities of the defense enterprise with the commercial and manufacturing realities of the electronics industry.