Democratising chip design
A potentially important initiative is US research agency DARPA’s OpenRoad initiative, with aims to build a more comprehensive set of open-source design tools. Professor Andrew Kahng of the University of California at San Diego and principal investigator on the project envisages an environment that can lay out and tune a range of chip designs automatically through a combination of machine learning and what he calls “extreme partitioning”, which divides the chip into many small independently optimised modules.
Though verification engineers have embraced various forms of open source, the stumbling blocks for its adoption get bigger the closer you get to tape-out. The biggest issue lies in the process design kits (PDKs) provided by foundries that are jealously protected by non-disclosure agreements and which forbid any sharing.
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Military researchers ask industry to create secure networking software to connect sensors to shooters
MINC seeks to build and demonstrate software that creates a secure network overlay with control mechanisms that enable distributed management of agile, self-healing networks of networks to support multi-domain kill webs in contested dynamic environments.
The program is a vital part of mosaic warfare, which seeks to assemble individual warfighting platforms like the ceramic tiles in mosaics to make a larger intelligence picture and a larger force package. The idea will be to send so many weapons and sensors at the enemy that its forces are overwhelmed.
MINC seeks to capitalize on networking advances in software-defined networking; network function virtualization for decoupling network functions from hardware; information-centric networking to discover and retrieve data securely; and intent-driven networking for autonomous mapping of user objectives to network management policies.
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