Microelectronics are a key aspect of our everyday lives. As a result, our electronic components are getting smaller, and more powerful. The technology for this is rapidly developing, and new breakthroughs happen constantly. Likewise, the military is desperate to integrate new tech into our national security plan. According to the Department of Defense, over $197 million dollars in contracts have been awarded to accomplish this.
Cultivating these advancements have been paramount in the military’s desires to outpace rival nations. Michael Kratsios, the Acting Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, made the following statement:
“The microelectronics industry is at the root of our nation’s economic strength, national security, and technological standing. Today’s awards support the Department’s mission to promote microelectronics supply chain security and accelerate U.S. development of the very best in circuit design, manufacturing, and packaging. It’s critical for the DOD and American industry to work together in meaningful partnerships to ensure the United States leads the world in microelectronics far into the future.”
Microsoft and IBM raked in $24.5 million of those contracts. Intel Federal and Qorvo took in the remaining $172.7 million. This plan will consist of two phases. Microsoft and IBM being phase one, and focusing on “physical ‘back-end’ design methods with measurable security.”
Consequently, Intel Federal and Qorvo are phase two. Their goals are to “develop and demonstrate a novel approach towards measurably secure, heterogeneous integration and test of advanced packaging solutions.”
Driving the future forward
Although this figure sounds massive, it is overshadowed by the whopping $3 billion dollars that have been dedicated to developing hypersonic weapons. Furthermore, it is only a fraction of the projected $716 billion 2021 DoD budget.
The military has a long history of funding new inventions and discoveries. These include: microwaves, jet engines and the internet. Additionally, nuclear medicine and nuclear power were born after the Manhattan Project.