DARPA’S $1.5-Billion Remake of U.S. Electronics
About a year ago, the U.S.Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency pulled back the covers on its five-year, $1.5-billion scheme to remake the U.S. electronics industry. The Electronics Resurgence Initiative included efforts in “aggressive specialization” for chip architectures, systems that are smart enough to reconfigure themselves for whatever data you throw at them, open-source hardware, 24-hour push-button system design, and carbon-nanotube-enabled 3D chip manufacturing, among other cool things. As always with DARPA, this is high-risk research;but if even half of it works out, it could change the nature not just of what kinds of systems are designed but also of who makes them and how they’re made.
On 18 June, IEEE Spectrum spoke with IEEE Fellow Mark Rosker, the new director of the Microsystems Technology Office, which is leading ERI at DARPA. Rosker talked about what’s happened in the ERI programs, what new components have been added, and what to expect from the 2nd ERI Summit. That event will be held 15-17 July in Detroit, Mich., and headlined by the CEOs of AMD, GlobalFoundries, and Qualcomm.