Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Network Technology

Relating to nodes in a connected architecture

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I2O explores game-changing technologies in the fields of information science and software to anticipate and create rapid shifts in the complex national security landscape. Conflict can occur in traditional domains such as land, sea, air, and space, and in emerging domains such as cyber and other types of irregular warfare. I2O’s research portfolio is focused on anticipating new modes of warfare in these emerging areas and developing the concepts and tools necessary to provide decisive advantage for the U.S. and its allies.
Modern society depends on information and information depends on information systems. Timely, insightful, reliable, and relevant information drives success. This is not lost on military leaders who well appreciate the critical importance of information for national security. As Sir Francis Bacon wrote in 1597, “Knowledge is power.”
ARPA research played a central role in launching the “Information Revolution,” including developing or furthering much of the conceptual basis for ARPANET, a pioneering network for sharing digital resources among geographically separated computers. Its initial demonstration in 1969 led to the Internet, whose world-changing consequences unfold on a daily basis today. A seminal step in this sequence took place in 1968 when ARPA contracted BBN Technologies to build the first routers, which one year later enabled ARPANET to become operational.

DARPA’s Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) was born in 1962 and for nearly 50 years was responsible for DARPA’s information technology programs. IPTO invested in breakthrough technologies and seminal research projects that led to pathbreaking developments in computer hardware and software. Some of the most fundamental advances came in the areas of time-sharing, computer graphics, networking, advanced microprocessor design, parallel processing and artificial intelligence.

IPTO pursued an investment strategy in line with the vision of the office’s first director, J. C. R. Licklider. Licklider believed that humans would one day interact seamlessly with computers, which, in his words, “were not just superfast calculating machines, but joyful machines: tools that will serve as new media of expression, inspirations to creativity, and gateways to a vast world of online information." IPTO was combined with DARPA’s Transformational Convergence Technology Office (TCTO) in 2010 to form the Information Innovation Office (I2O).

ARPA research played a central role in launching the Information Revolution. The agency developed and furthered much of the conceptual basis for the ARPANET—prototypical communications network launched nearly half a century ago—and invented the digital protocols that gave birth to the Internet.