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November 7, 2018 | International, C4ISR

Bringing Photonic Signaling to Digital Microelectronics

DARPA program seeks to unleash the performance of modern multi-chip modules by integrating optical signaling at the chip-level

OUTREACH@DARPA.MIL

11/1/2018

Parallelism – or the act of several processors simultaneously executing on an application or computation – has been increasingly embraced by the microelectronics industry as a way of sustaining demand for increased system performance. Today, parallel computing architectures have become pervasive across all application domains and system scales – from multicore processing units in consumer devices to high-performance computing in DoD systems. However, the performance gains from parallelism are increasingly constrained not by the computational limits of individual nodes, but rather by the movement of data between them. When residing on modern multi-chip modules (MCMs), these nodes rely on electrical links for short-reach connectivity, but once systems scale to the circuit board level and beyond, the performance of electrical links rapidly degrades, requiring large amounts of energy to move data between integrated circuits. Expanding the use of optical rather than electrical components for data transfer could help significantly reduce energy consumption while increasing data capacity, enabling the advancement of massive parallelism.

“Today, microelectronic systems are severely constrained by the high cost of data movement, whether measured in terms of energy, footprint, or latency,” said Dr. Gordon Keeler, program manager in DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office (MTO). “Efficient photonic signaling offers a path to disruptive system scalability because it eliminates the need to keep data local, and it promises to impact data-intensive applications, including machine learning, large scale emulation, and advanced sensors.”

Photonic transceiver modules already enable optical signaling over long distances with high bandwidth and minimal loss using optical fiber. Bottlenecks result, however, when data moves between optical transceivers and advanced integrated circuits in the electrical domain, which significantly limits performance. Integrating photonic solutions into the microelectronics package would remove this limitation and enable new levels of parallel computing.

A new DARPA program, the Photonics in the Package for Extreme Scalability (PIPES) program, seeks to enable future system scalability by developing high-bandwidth optical signaling technologies for digital microelectronics. Working across three technical areas, PIPES aims to develop and embed integrated optical transceiver capabilities into cutting-edge MCMs and create advanced optical packaging and switching technologies to address the data movement demands of highly parallel systems. The efficient, high-bandwidth, package-level photonic signaling developed through PIPES will be important to a number of emerging applications for both the commercial and defense sectors.

The first technical area of the PIPES program is focused on the development of high-performance optical input/output (I/O) technologies packaged with advanced integrated circuits (ICs), including field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), graphics processing units (GPUs), and application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Beyond technology development, the program seeks to facilitate a domestic ecosystem to support wider deployment of resulting technologies and broaden their impact.

Projections of historic scaling trends predict the need for enormous improvements in bandwidth density and energy consumption to accommodate future microelectronics I/O. To help address this challenge, the second technical area will investigate novel component technologies and advanced link concepts for disruptive approaches to highly scalable, in-package optical I/O for unprecedented throughput.

The successful development of package-level photonic I/O from PIPES' first two technical areas will create new challenges for systems architects. The development of massively interconnected networks with distributed parallelism will create hundreds to thousands of nodes that will be exceedingly difficult to manage. To help address this complexity, the third technical area of the PIPES program will focus on the creation of low-loss optical packaging approaches to enable high channel density and port counts, as well as reconfigurable, low-power optical switching technologies.

A full description of the program is available in the Broad Agency Announcement. For more information, please visit: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/ODA/DARPA/CMO/HR001119S0004/listing.html

https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2018-11-01

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  • Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 16, 2019

    December 17, 2019 | International, Aerospace, Naval, Land, C4ISR, Security

    Contract Awards by US Department of Defense - December 16, 2019

    DEFENSE LOGISTICS AGENCY The Boeing Co., St. Louis, Missouri, has been awarded a maximum $835,737,596 modification (P00105) exercising the five-year option period of a five-year base contract (SPRPA1-14-D-002U) with one five-year option period for performance-based support of consumable items for various aviation platforms. This is a fixed-price-incentive firm contract. Location of performance is Missouri, with a Sept. 16, 2024, performance completion date. Using military services are Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2024 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Aviation, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Sysco Hampton Roads, Suffolk, Virginia, has been awarded a maximum $90,716,317 fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment, indefinite-quantity contract for perishable and semi-perishable subsistence supplies. This was a sole-source acquisition in accordance with 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1), as stated in Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1. This is a 363-day bridge contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Virginia, with a Dec. 11, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Navy. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 and 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting agency is Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE300-20-D-3241). (Awarded Dec. 12, 2019) Pomp's Tire Service Inc., New Berlin, Wisconsin, has been awarded a maximum $15,046,656 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for pneumatic tire and wheel assemblies. This was a competitive acquisition with one offer received. This is a three-year contract with no option periods. Location of performance is Wisconsin, with a Dec. 16, 2022, performance completion date. Using military service is Army. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2022 Army working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime, Warren, Michigan (SPRDL1-20-D-0014). Puerto Rico Industries for the Blind Corp.,** Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, has been awarded a maximum $11,036,311 firm-fixed-price, indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for flame resistant jackets. This was a competitive acquisition with three responses received. This is a one-year base contract with four one-year option periods. Location of performance is Puerto Rico, with a Dec. 15, 2020, performance completion date. Using military service is Air Force. Type of appropriation is fiscal 2020 through 2021 defense working capital funds. The contracting activity is the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (SPE1C1-20-D-1219). 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Lockheed Martin Corp., Orlando, Florida, was awarded a $64,736,518 modification (P00031) to contract W58RGZ-16-C-0008 for the Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight Pilot Night Vision Sensor Performance Based Logistics program sustainment, support elements, system components, test equipment and the supply retrograde infrastructure. Work will be performed in Orlando, Florida, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2020. Fiscal 2020 Army working capital funds in the amount of $64,736,518 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. Attain LLC,* McLean, Virginia, was awarded a $30,492,418 modification (BA07 27) to contract W91QUZ-11-D-0016 to acquire and retain contractor employees with technical experience. Work will be performed in Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, with an estimated completion date of Dec. 31, 2020. 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Motorola Solutions Inc., Chicago, Illinois, is awarded a $23,803,734 firm-fixed-price contract for lifecycle sustainment of the enterprise land mobile radio system for Naval Facilities Engineering Command anti-terrorism/force protection ashore program systems at various Navy installations worldwide. The work to be performed provides for preventive maintenance of hardware and software; response and resolution of service calls for corrective maintenance to include equipment repair, overhaul, or replacement, asset and configuration management, password management and software upgrade installation. The contract also contains four unexercised options, which if exercised would increase cumulative contract value to $93,614,301. Work will be performed worldwide, and is expected to be completed by December 2020. If all options are exercised, work will continue through June 2023. Fiscal 2020 operations and maintenance, (Navy) contract funds in the amount of $23,803,734 are obligated on this award and will expire at the end of the current fiscal year. This contract was solicited on a sole-source basis. Statutory authority for the use of other than full and open competition is found at 10 U.S. Code 2304 (c)(1) as implemented by Federal Acquisition Regulation 6.302-1(iii), only one responsible source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. The Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Port Hueneme, California, is the contracting activity (N39430-20-C-2214). AIR FORCE ViaSat Inc., Carlsbad, California, has been awarded a $93,000,000 indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract to provide AN/PRC-161 Handheld Link 16 radios, ancillaries and associated training to special warfare operators. Work will be performed at Carlsbad, California, and is expected to be completed by Dec. 31, 2023. 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  • Comment les Rafale et véhicules aériens ont réduit le déficit commercial de la France en 2019

    June 15, 2020 | International, Aerospace

    Comment les Rafale et véhicules aériens ont réduit le déficit commercial de la France en 2019

    Les exportations d'armements ont dopé la balance commerciale de la France en 2019. Selon des données dévoilées le 15 juin par l'Observatoire économique de la défense, les exportations de matériels de guerre ont atteint un niveau historique. En 2019, la France a réussi à diminuer son déficit commercial de 3,9 milliards d'euros. Comment ? Notamment gr'ce au succès de ses armements à l'international. Les exportations de matériels de guerre et produits liés ont atteint un record décennal de 11,3 milliards d'euros (+34 %), selon le bulletin du mois de mai de l'Observatoire économique de la défense (OED). Les véhicules aériens ont particulièrement contribué à ces résultats. Quatrième meilleur secteur en excédent commercial Le succès des armes françaises à l'export n'est pas nouveau. Début juin, le ministère des Armées rapportait un haut niveau de prises de commandes. Cette fois, on connaît la valeur totale des exportations, le type de biens exportés et également les zones géographiques vers lesquelles ils sont expédiés. Avec 2,7 milliards d'euros d'importations, l'excédent commercial lié aux livraisons de matériels de guerre s'élève à 8,5 milliards d'euros en 2019 (+2,1 milliards d'euros et +32,8 % par rapport à 2018). “Cet excédent sectoriel est une des principales sources d'atténuation du déficit commercial de la France”, fait remarquer l'Observatoire économique de la défense. Seuls trois secteurs dépassent cet excédent commercial en France : en premier l'aéronautique civile (+29,6 milliards d'euros), l'agro-alimentaire des boissons (+13,2 milliards) et l'industrie manufacturière des parfums et des cosmétiques (+12,5 milliards). L'aviation de défense repart Après une stagnation entre 2017 et 2018, les exportations d'avions et d'autres véhicules aériens repartent avec une augmentation de 24,4 % entre 2018 et 2019. Cette catégorie représente à elle seule 2,8 milliards d'euros, soit 25 % de l'ensemble des exportations de matériels de guerre. Les systèmes de propulsion (turboréacteurs, turbopropulseurs) enregistrent également une belle performance : leurs exportations ont cru de 34 % à 2,3 milliards d'euros, soit 20 % de la valeur totale exportée par la France. “Ces exportations sont principalement à destination, dans l'ordre, du Proche et Moyen-Orient, de l'Union européenne, de l'Amérique et de l'Asie”, note l'OED. L'Observatoire économique de la défense ne détaille pas les produits livrés mais l'avion de combat Rafale de Dassault Aviation a sans doute contribué à ces résultats. En 2019, les livraisons de cet appareil vers l'étranger ont explosé à 26 exemplaires. Belle croissance pour les instruments d'optique Derrière, les avions et les systèmes de propulsion les armes et les munitions comptent pour 2,1 milliards d'euros (+34,7 %), soit 18 % des exportations françaises de matériels de guerre. “Près de trois quarts de ces exportations sont des bombes, des grenades, des torpilles ou des missiles”, décrit l'OED. Les chars, les véhicules blindés, les instruments d'optique, de mesure et de précision représentent moins d'argent. En revanche ces catégories affichent les plus fortes croissances. Les exportations de véhicules blindés décollent de +56,8 % (1,1 milliard d'euros). Les instruments ont quant à eux progressé de 47 % (700 millions d'euros). “Il peut s'agir de télémètres ou encore d'appareils pour la navigation à usage militaire. 80 % des exportations sont à destination du Proche et Moyen-Orient, de l'Afrique et de l'Asie (hors Proche et Moyen-Orient)”, détaille l'OED. Pour le secteur maritime, l'année 2019 n'a pas connu de grandes livraisons à l'international. Les navires de guerre affichent une contre-performance de -20,4 % et n'ont compté que pour 128,3 millions d'euros dans les exportations. Les appareils de détection et de radiosondage (radars, sonars et leurs composants) affichent une croissance de 59 % à 1,8 milliards d'euros. Selon l'OED, ces matériels sont principalement exportés vers le Proche et Moyen-Orient. Le Proche et Moyen-Orient, principaux clients de la France De manière générale, le Proche et Moyen-Orient concentrent 42,4 % des exportations françaises (4,8 milliards d'euros, +205 %). Les résultats sont plus serrés entre les autres zones géographiques : l'Amérique représente 11,4 % des exportations (1,3 milliard), derrière l'Afrique (13,8 %, 1,6 milliard), l'Asie (15,7 %, 1,8 milliard) et l'Europe (16,7 %, 1,8 milliard). Pour les importations, la préférence européenne joue aussi. “La majorité des importations françaises de matériels de guerre et produits liés provient de l'Union européenne : 56,2 %, soit un 1,5 milliard d'euros”, fait remarquer l'OED tandis que l'Amérique représente 27,3 % des importations (0,8 milliard). https://www.usinenouvelle.com/editorial/comment-les-rafale-et-vehicules-aeriens-ont-reduit-le-deficit-commercial-de-la-france-en-2019.N975531

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