US Military Agency DARPA is Planning to Re-Invent Electronics
The US military agency DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), originally known as the ARPA (Advanced Research Projects Agency) revolutionized the information technology industry by its first creation of ARPAnet, which is the first packet-switched computer network is now worried that the US could lose its edge in semiconductor chips with the end of Moore’s Law.
Those who are new to Moore’s law – Gordon Moore, the co-founder of Intel predicted that the number of transistors on a chip doubles every year while the costs are halved. In 1965, Gordon Moore noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention. It was rather his observation which turned into a law. In 1965, Gordon Moore noticed that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since their invention.
Silicon Valley is also named that way for the same reason that a large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers are present in the same region. For some time now hardware development has taken a back seat to software development and innovation which is now bothering US military for several reasons.
Another worrisome reason for US military is China’s huge investment in semiconductor design and manufacturing. Most of the world is currently manufacturing products in China for the reason of cost and infrastructure which also put a lot of pressure on the US govt. in general. Though most of the IPs in a semiconductor innovation are still owned by US companies and they want to take control of manufacturing also.
To address the rising concern of US military, DARPA has launched a $1.5 billion fund to fuel research on advancement in chip technology. The program is known as Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) to support work on advances in chip technology. The agency has just unveiled the first set of research teams selected to explore unproven but potentially powerful approaches that could revolutionize US chip development and manufacturing.
The major areas of research focus would be on new chip material and clever design of chips. To go beyond Moore’s Law, new materials for chip fabrication, and new ways of integrating computing power and memory, will be needed. Shifting data between memory components that store it and processors that act on it sucks up energy and creates one of the biggest hurdles to boosting processing power.
Another ERI project will explore ways in which novel circuit integration schemes can eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the need to shift data around. The ultimate goal is to effectively embed computing power in memory, which could lead to dramatic increases in performance.
I can see a new era of electronic development is going to being soon. History is the witness to all the game-changing innovation in today’s world has happened mostly in defence agencies around the world. Stay tuned for more updated.
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