ERI Summit 2019: Framework for Novel Compute (FRANC)

Dr. Young-Kai Chen, Program Manager, DARPA MTO

Dr. Naresh Shanbhag, Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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.

Visit for more details on the ERI Summit, including slide downloads.

MTO Office Panel: Computation and the Electronics Resurgence Initiative

Transistor scaling, the central mechanism for electronics progress, faces an inflection point under Moore’s Law. At the same time, the cost of integrated circuit design is rising rapidly, making the most advanced technology available only to the largest companies, and limiting innovation. To maintain the traditional U.S. economic and security advantage in microelectronics, MTO has established the Electronics Resurgence Initiative, a collaborative effort to bolster innovation and to establish a base layer of new semiconductor technologies to meet the computing needs of tomorrow’s technology. MTO Program Managers discuss their efforts to enable this future. Their research areas include new material options and transistor architectures for integrated circuits, methods for dramatically reducing the time and cost of application specific circuit design, advanced machine learning techniques to understand context and learn continuously, and low-power hardware architectures to enable complex computation in embedded military applications. Program Managers also address how to best protect military hardware during design and fabrication.

Dr. Bill Chappell – DARPA, MTO

Dr. Young-Kai Chen – DARPA, MTO
Mr. Serge Leef – DARPA, MTO
Mr. Andreas Olofsson – DARPA, MTO
Mr. Paul Tilghman – DARPA, MTO
Dr. Stephen Trimberger – DARPA, MTO