DARPA Tackles Photonics-Driven Data Processing in New Program

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is pursuing an effort to study and develop optical signaling technology for defense use.

DARPA said Monday its Photonics in the Package for Extreme Scalability program aims to produce data transfer technology that keeps up with modern applications.

PIPES would address system architecture and scalability needs in support of commercial and defense applications that require intensive data activity.

The effort would incorporate new high-bandwidth photonics and optical signaling technology into programmable gate arrays and application-specific integrated circuits.

“The integration of photonics within the package will have enormous benefits for commercial and defense applications, but it comes with considerable challenges," said Gordon Keeler, DARPA's program manager for PIPES.

The agency has chosen Sandia National Laboratories; University of California, San Diego; University of California, Santa Barbara; Columbia University; and the University of Pennsylvania to perform work under PIPES.

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