Microchip Technology
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Microchip Components Added to DARPA Toolbox

Oct. 11, 2021
Access to advanced and secure electronic components, including those prepared for use in space, will help DARPA researchers to develop EW and ECM system solutions more quickly and easily.

Advanced technology often comes from straightforward solutions, and that is what the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) seeks with the addition of low-power devices from Microchip Technology to the DARPA Toolbox initiative. Via Toolbox, DARPA’s researchers gain availability to open-licensing opportunities from commercial suppliers such as Microchip, to use their commercial electronic products where they make most sense in defense and aerospace development projects. The agreement initially gives DARPA researchers no-cost access to the Microsoft Libero design software suite and associated intellectual property (IP) based on low-power, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

“Microchip is committed to enabling DARPA researchers to reach higher and solve complex problems with our low-power and secure FPGA product families,” said Bruce Weyer, vice-president of Microchip’s FPGA business unit. “We are among the few semiconductor suppliers that are capable of completing the rigorous device qualification process for the military and spaceflight microelectronics products, and this expertise is embedded in the FPGA design software and IP that we are delivering through our streamlined DARPA Toolkit acquisition license.”

Especially important for space applications, Microchip offers radiation-tolerant components not available from other suppliers in the DARPA Toolkit program, including FPGAs, discrete MOSFETs, Zener diodes, power supplies, relays, and switches. For example, Microchip’s PolarFire product line of system-on-chip (SoC) devices are conditioned for use in space but with low-power consumption and high data security. They support miniaturized, dense circuit designs in which cost and heat dissipation must be controlled. Serge Leef, Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) program manager at DARPA and leader of the DARPA Toolbox initiative, says: “Partnering with Microchip through our DARPA Toolbox initiative gives our award-winning innovators streamlined access to the industry’s most advanced commercial technologies for solving such difficult aerospace and defense challenges as onboard satellite payload processing.”

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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