ERI Summit 2019: Future Technology: Software Defined Hardware (SDH)

Dr. David Wentzlaff, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering, Princeton University

Announced in June 2017, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) is a five-year, upwards of $1.5 billion investment in the future of domestic, U.S. government, and defense electronics systems. ERI is forging forward-looking collaborations to enable microelectronics progress through circuit specialization and to ensure secure DoD access to next-generation electronics technologies.

ERI currently encompasses 20 programs—organized into four thrusts—managed by 12 program managers. The 3D heterogeneous integration thrust is enabling tight incorporation of differing circuit components, including through the development of the first state of the art electrical interface standard supported by an open source reference design. The novel materials and devices thrust is delivering new materials technologies to the domestic manufacturing base, demonstrating the first commercial manufacture of resistive RAM devices integrated with carbon nanotube transistors in a silicon compatible process. The design and security thrust is accelerating delivery of specialized circuitry and creating new opportunities for the safe use of open-source IP, recently showing that unknown chip design flaws can be rapidly located. The specialization thrust is optimizing systems for commercial and defense functions, such as driving towards ASIC-level performance in runtime programmable processors. Building on the tradition of successful government-industry partnerships, these and other ERI programs will enable the United States to collaboratively innovate a 4th wave of microelectronics progress and to create a more specialized, secure, and heavily automated electronics industry that meets national defense and commercial needs.

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