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DOD Unveils Microelectronics Commons Project Through CHIPS and Science Act

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The Department of Defense’s office of the undersecretary for research and engineering has launched a project that seeks to establish a network of local facilities across the U.S. to advance the development of microelectronics prototypes as part of efforts to reduce dependence on other countries for such technology components.

The five-year Microelectronics Commons project will pursue the development of prototypes in six technological fields: secure edge computing and internet of things; quantum technology; 5G/6G technology; electromagnetic warfare; artificial intelligence hardware; and commercial leap ahead technologies, the National Security Technology Accelerator said Monday.

The CHIPS and Science Act-funded project aims to encourage lab-to-fab transition of microelectronics technologies and support semiconductor workforce training initiatives.

“We want to expedite the lab-to-fab prototyping as well as closely couple the R&D innovation with the manufacturing,” said Dev Shenoy, principal director for microelectronics within OUSD(R&E).

A request for solutions for the Microelectronics Commons project has been issued through the NSTXL-managed Strategic and Spectrum Missions Advanced Resilient Trusted Systems other transaction authority vehicle calling for industry stakeholders to develop prototypes and demonstrate their capabilities in those tech areas.

Proposed platforms for the project are due Feb. 28.