JUMP 2.0, led by Semiconductor Research Corporation, aims to fuel exploratory research in microelectronics at U.S. university research centers
Jan. 3, 2022 — DARPA announced on Dec. 22 its participation in a new long-term university research collaboration with the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) and a consortium of companies in the commercial semiconductor industry and the defense industrial base called the Joint University Microelectronics Program 2.0 (JUMP 2.0). The program will support high-risk, high-payoff research that addresses existing and emerging challenges in information and communication technologies. JUMP 2.0 builds off an earlier iteration of the SRC-led collaboration that was formed in 2018 to support university research centers focused on keeping the U.S. at the forefront of microelectronics innovation.
“DARPA has a long history of supporting long-term, pathfinding university research through public-private partnerships that drive disruption in microelectronics,” said Dev Palmer, deputy director of the Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) and lead on JUMP 2.0. “Starting with the Focus Center Research Program (FCRP) consortium in 1998, DARPA has maintained strong collaborations with academia, the defense industrial base, and commercial semiconductor industry to accelerate the pace of innovation and chart a path forward in advancing microelectronics. JUMP 2.0 will build on that legacy and serves as one critical component of MTO’s plans for the next phase of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI).”
With the rapid changes occurring in the microelectronics landscape today, the goal of JUMP 2.0 is to address new and emerging technical grand challenges that confront our increasingly connected world as identified in the Decadal Plan for Semiconductors, including: need for innovation in analog hardware, increasing demand for more memory and data storage, imbalance between data generation and communication capacity, emerging security vulnerabilities in highly-interconnected AI systems, and unsustainable growth in energy demands for computing. The program aims to establish seven collaborative, multidisciplinary, multi-university research centers focused on overcoming these challenges and accelerating innovation in applications, supporting exploratory research with an eight- to twelve-year time horizon for transition to defense and commercial opportunities. To focus the research, each center will define an overarching challenge and a set of specific technical goals by which the center will be evaluated.
SRC is currently soliciting proposals from U.S. universities and/or associated research institutes to lead a JUMP 2.0 center. The seven center research themes found in the SRC solicitation include:
- Cognition: Next-generation AI systems and architectures
- Communications and Connectivity: Efficient communication technologies for ICT systems
- Intelligent Sensing to Action: Sensing capabilities and embedded intelligence to enable fast and efficient generation of actions
- Systems and Architectures for Distributed Compute: Distributed computing systems and architectures in an energy efficient compute and accelerator fabric
- Intelligent Memory and Storage: Emerging memory devices and storage arrays for intelligent memory systems
- Advanced Monolithic and Heterogenous Integration: Novel electric and photonic interconnect fabrics and advanced packaging
- High-Performance Energy Efficient Devices: Novel materials, devices, and interconnect technologies to enable next-generation digital and analog applications
All of these themes are of interest to JUMP 2.0, but the final center themes will be chosen by DARPA and the industry consortium partners based on proposal technical merit, relevance, and potential impact. The SRC JUMP 2.0 solicitation is open to all U.S. universities and is conducted on a competitive basis. Only U.S. institutions of higher education or their associated research institutions will be considered for funding.
The SRC JUMP 2.0 Research Announcement contains more information on the program objectives and description, timetable and deadlines, center research themes, research needs, submission instructions, and evaluation criteria. For more information, please visit the SRC website at https://www.src.org/compete.
1 Semiconductor Research Corporation, “Decadal Plan for Semiconductors: Full Report,” 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.src.org/about/decadal-plan/decadal-plan-full-report.pdf