On the wish list: embedded software tools, cloud-based FPGA, foundry services
The DARPA Toolbox Initiative aims to provide leading semiconductor design tools and intellectual property (IP) to research teams performing R&D projects, to enhance US national security and competitiveness. The idea behind the Toolbox is to equip the DARPA community with the same cutting-edge semiconductor design technologies that are available to commercial chipmakers.
DARPA, or the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has a storied history. The R&D agency of the US Department of Defense is responsible for the development of emerging technologies, some of which get adopted for commercial applications. mRNA technology (that led to Covid-19 vaccines), weather satellites, drones, stealth technology, the PC, and the internet are among the innovations to which DARPA was a major contributor, according to The Economist.
Yet, DARPA-funded research teams have been at something of a disadvantage when its inventions shift to civilian, commercial, or military use in recent years.
That’s where Serge Leef has stepped in. Formerly an executive from the electronic design automation (EDA) industry, Leef launched DARPA’s Toolbox Initiative, creating a business model that brings together the DARPA research community with commercial vendors supplying design enablers, such as Security IPs and EDA tools.
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