Background on DARPA Electronics Resurgence Initiative

16 Jul 2018

IEEE Spectrum – DARPA Plans to Remake U.S. Electronics:

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is launching a huge expansion of its Electronics Resurgence Initiative, boosting the program to US $1.5 billion over five years. And while some of the research efforts will be just what you’ve come to expect from the agency that brought you disposable drones, self-driving cars, and cameras that can see around corners, a lot of this new money is going toward ideas that could fundamentally change how chips are designed.

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ERI Summit 2018:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is holding the first annual Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) Summit from July 23-25, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The three-day event will bring together senior representatives from the commercial sector, defense industrial base, academia, and government to focus on the future of U.S. electronics. Prof. Kahng will be presenting OpenROAD at the event. Slides and video will be available afterwards.

Event page:

From DARPA website:

The microelectronics community is facing an array of long foreseen obstacles to Moore’s Law, the transistor scaling that has allowed for 50 years of rapid progress in electronics. Current economic, geopolitical, and physics-based complications make the future of the electronics industry uniquely interesting at this moment. To jump-start innovation in the field, DARPA announced in June 2017 that it would coalesce a broad series of programs into the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI). ERI, which received an additional $75 million allocation in the FY18 budget, calls for innovative new approaches to microsystems materials, designs, and architectures. Underscoring the importance of the initiative, the President’s budget for FY19 includes continued annual investments of $300 million over the next five years for ERI’s research efforts–potentially upwards of $1.5 billion over the initiative’s lifetime.

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Media coverage:

DARPA will begin the event by announcing the research teams selected to lead ERI’s six new “Page 3” programs, which aims to complement traditional scaling and ensure continued improvements in electronics performance. During the days that follow, attendees will hear keynote presentations from industry leaders, interspersed with detailed program discussions.

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MIT Tech Review – DARPA’s ambitious plan to reinvent electronics:

Last year, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funds a range of blue-sky research efforts relevant to the US military, launched a $1.5 billion, five-year program known as the 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.

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