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August 16, 2018

DARPA Promises $1.5B to Revolutionize Microchips

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA) established its Electronics Resurgence Initiative in 2017. The goal? To spark future-focused innovation in electronics.

Recently, DARPA boosted the Electronics Resurgence Initiative with $1.5 billion. The funds will be paid over five years and will be used to fund innovations that could revolutionize how microchips are designed.

This could open up potential new projects and revenue streams for semiconductor manufacturers and related companies.

Moore’s Law and the Growth of Electronic Devices

Electronic devices have been multiplying in power for decades. As a result, technology has been growing exponentially. As an example, the Intel 4004 processor had just 2,300 transistors in 1973. Fast-forward to 2017, and the Centriq 2400 Qualcomm mega-processor had 18 billion transistors.

What Is Moore’s Law?

Moore’s Law states that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles roughly every two years.

Moore’s Law was defined by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore in his seminal 1965 paper, “Cramming More Components onto Integrated Circuits.” His paper has guided the electronics industry for more than 50 years. And it accurately predicted the massive development in technology.

Are We Nearing the End of Moore’s Law?

Today, Moore’s Law is challenged on both technical and economic grounds. As global competition increases in microprocessors, semiconductors, and other technologies, tech companies struggle to keep up. DARPA knows this is a problem.

To compete, tech companies need to have the latest technology and the engineers, programmers, and developers who know how to use that tech to its full potential.

In their race to solve the day-to-day problems they face in getting innovations to market, their hopes of proactively innovating for the future falls further down on their list of priorities. This is exactly what DARPA wants to change with the Electronics Resurgence Initiative. 

How Can Companies Compete for the DARPA Funds?

In pursuit of these DARPA-funded innovations, tech companies must be able to collaborate internally and externally on increasingly complex tasks. Solutions exist that are designed to unite global design teams and make it possible for them to:

  • Manage all design and production assets as single sources of truth
  • Store and manage virtually endless amounts of data
  • Manage complex file relationships and large binary files
  • Control and track versions of all files that go into SoCs and other applications
  • Coordinate workstreams and designs worldwide
  • Quickly find and reuse IPs and other data with ease
  • Achieve shorter design cycles
  • Create direct links from requirements to IPs throughout the design lifecycle
  • Ensure traceability and adhere to regulations
  • Use advanced features, including notifications, file-level permissions and conflict management

Flexible, scalable solutions make it possible for teams to work more efficiently while eliminating needless revisions and rework. As a result, tech companies are able to accomplish more with less, and work faster than ever before.

It’s Time for More Transformational Improvements in Electronics

So what happens when you combine these solutions with the results that DARPA expects from the Electronics Resurgence Initiative?

Tech companies are poised to solve immediate problems and achieve transformational improvements in performance. Innovations that result from the initiative could also make it possible for small teams of technicians to make advancements that would take hundreds to achieve today.

The increasing importance of technology in our everyday lives is creating immense competition among tech companies. To stay competitive, the most successful companies are shortening design and development cycles – even while product complexity grows exponentially. These companies understand that their ability to collaborate in a cost- and time-efficient manner is the foundation for automated, streamlined product delivery.

Learn more about how Perforce can support your company as you pursue innovations funded by DARPA and the Electronics Resurgence Initiative. And learn why 8 of the top 10 semiconductor companies version on Perforce.