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DARPA’s Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing Program: Shaping the Future of 3DHI Microsystems

Introduction:

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is charting new frontiers in microelectronics with its groundbreaking Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing (NGMM) Program. Seeking industry input on Phases I and II, DARPA aims to establish a U.S.-based center dedicated to the research, development, and manufacturing of 3D heterogeneously integrated microsystems (3DHI).

Program Objectives:

The NGMM program is poised to revolutionize microelectronics through three key focus areas:

  1. Equipment Installation and Baseline Fabrication Process Development:
    • Installation of equipment essential for 3DHI microelectronics manufacturing.
    • Establishment of baseline fabrication processes for 3DHI microelectronics.
  2. 3D Assembly Design Kit (3D-ADK) and Design Automation and Simulation Software Development:
    • Development of a 3D-ADK to facilitate the design of 3DHI microelectronics.
    • Creation of design automation and simulation software to optimize 3DHI microelectronics designs.
  3. Hardware Prototyping, Process Automation, and Emulation Capability Development:
    • Creation of hardware prototypes for 3DHI microelectronics.
    • Automation of 3DHI microelectronics manufacturing processes.
    • Development of emulation capabilities for 3DHI microelectronics.

Financial Commitment:

DARPA demonstrates its commitment to the NGMM program by allocating a substantial $420 million for each of Phase I and Phase II. These funds are earmarked for critical initiatives that will propel the development of 3DHI microelectronics.

Timeline:

Anticipated to commence on July 1, 2024, the NGMM program is set to unfold dynamically. The draft program announcement is open for public comment until November 20, 2023, reflecting DARPA’s commitment to collaboration and transparency.

The Significance of 3DHI Microelectronics:

3DHI microelectronics represent a pivotal leap forward in electronic technology, offering advantages such as increased performance, reduced power consumption, and enhanced functionality. By stacking multiple chips, these microelectronics minimize interconnect delays, improve signal integrity, and pave the way for innovative applications.

 

Conclusion:

DARPA’s NGMM Program stands at the forefront of microelectronics innovation, poised to shape the future of 3DHI microsystems. As stakeholders engage in this collaborative endeavor, the program heralds a transformative era in microelectronics manufacturing, setting the stage for advancements that will redefine technological landscapes.

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