Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyTagged Content List

Photonics, Optics and Lasers

Science and technology dealing with the transmission and manipulation of light

Showing 7 results for Photonics + Microchips RSS
Long coils of optical waveguides—any structure that can guide light, like conventional optical fiber—can be used to create a time delay in the transmission of light. Such photonic delays are useful in military application ranging from small navigation sensors to wideband phased array radar and communication antennas. Although optical fiber has extremely low signal loss, an advantage that enables the backbone of the global Internet, it is limited in certain photonic delay applications. Connecting fiber optics with microchip-scale photonic systems requires sensitive, labor-intensive assembly and a system with a large number of connections suffers from signal loss.
Many essential military capabilities—including autonomous navigation, chemical-biological sensing, precision targeting and communications—increasingly rely upon laser-scanning technologies such as LIDAR (think radar that uses light instead of radio waves). These technologies provide amazing high-resolution information at long ranges but have a common Achilles heel: They require mechanical assemblies to sweep the laser back and forth. These large, slow opto-mechanical systems are both temperature- and impact-sensitive and often cost tens of thousands of dollars each—all factors that limit widespread adoption of current technologies for military and commercial use.
DARPA published its Young Faculty Award (YFA) 2018 Research Announcement today, seeking proposals in 26 different topic areas—the largest number of YFA research areas ever solicited.
Only a few decades ago, finding a particular channel on the radio or television meant dialing a knob by hand, making small tweaks and adjustments to hone in on the right signal. Of course, we now take such fine tuning for granted, simply pressing a button to achieve the same effect. This convenience is enabled by radio frequency synthesis, the generation of accurate signal frequencies from a single reference oscillator.
November 1, 2018, 8:30 AM ET,
DARPA Conference Center
The Microsystems Technology Office is holding a Proposers Day to provide information to potential proposers on the objectives of the new program. PIPES will develop optical I/O for emerging data movement needs of commercial and military systems. PIPES seeks to emplace integrated optical transceiver capabilities into cutting-edge multi-chip modules (e.g., field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), graphical processing units (GPUs), central processing units (CPUs), and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs)) for 2023-era microelectronics with performance well beyond currently available solutions. In parallel, PIPES aims to develop novel optical I/O approaches and advanced optical packaging and switching technologies to satisfy data movement demands of highly parallel systems in the 2028 timeframe. Additionally, the program will combine the advanced microelectronics capabilities of commercial industry, innovative photonics solutions from research communities, and DoD-specific application drivers from the defense industry into a framework for long-term technology availability by establishing and supporting a domestic technology ecosystem.