Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Transformative Materials

Relating to new or improved properties in materials

Showing 47 results for Materials + Manufacturing RSS
DARPA recently launched its Atoms to Product (A2P) program, with the goal of developing technologies and processes to assemble nanometer-scale pieces—whose dimensions are near the size of atoms—into systems, components, or materials that are at least millimeter-scale in size. At the heart of that goal was a frustrating reality: Many common materials, when fabricated at nanometer-scale, exhibit unique and attractive “atomic-scale” behaviors including quantized current-voltage behavior, dramatically lower melting points and significantly higher specific heats—but they tend to lose these potentially beneficial traits when they are manufactured at larger “product-scale” dimensions, typically on the order of a few centimeters, for integration into devices and systems.
With the official roll out of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative’s latest investments today, DARPA hopes to open new innovation pathways to address impending engineering and economics challenges that, if left unanswered, could challenge what has been a relentless half-century run of progress in microelectronics technology. To maintain healthy forward momentum, the ERI over the next four years will commit hundreds of millions of dollars to nurture research in advanced new materials, circuit design tools, and system architectures. In addition to a half-dozen or so existing DARPA programs, and the largest program in the U.S. that funds basic electronics research at universities, 
First announced in June 2017, DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) is a multi-year, upwards of $1.5 billion investment in jumpstarting innovation and collaboration across the U.S. electronics community to address an array of long foreseen challenges to Moore’s Law. To kickoff this community-wide effort, DARPA is hosting its first annual ERI Summit from July 23-25 in San Francisco, CA. The three-day event will bring together leading voices from across the electronics community–including Alphabet, Applied Materials, Intel, Synopsys, Cadence, Mentor Graphics, NVIDIA, and IBM–to address challenges and opportunities for the next half century of electronics progress.
A once highly manual process, circuit design has been transformed by the advent of electronic design automation (EDA) tools and modular design methodologies. Despite continuing advances in automation technologies, the demand for increasingly complex System-on-Chip (SoC) platforms has shown no sign of slowing. Today’s SoCs incorporate billions of transistors with miles of electrical wiring that are integrated within a tiny chip.
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.