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The DoD Initiative in Integrated Circuits

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131421D
Original Publication Date: 1979-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 9 page(s) / 36K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

Ruth M. Davis: AUTHOR [+3]

Abstract

[Figure containing following caption omitted: The Department of Defense's Very High-Speed IC Program includes research in areas such as submicron fabrication technology and advanced signal processing. DoD foresees results beneficial to both commercial and military applications.] A major driving force in the computer industry has been the exceptional advances in integrated circuits. These have been so rapid that in many instances the computer industry has been unable to take full advantage of them. Increasing circuit-level complexity has lowered costs and accelerated the long-standing trend making software the major cost component in computer systems. System reliability and maintainability now depend more on software than ever before.

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THIS DOCUMENT IS AN APPROXIMATE REPRESENTATION OF THE ORIGINAL.

This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1979 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society http://www.computer.org/ (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

The DoD Initiative in Integrated Circuits

Ruth M. Davis

Department of Defense

(Image Omitted: The Department of Defense's Very High-Speed IC Program includes research in areas such as submicron fabrication technology and advanced signal processing. DoD foresees results beneficial to both commercial and military applications.)

A major driving force in the computer industry has been the exceptional advances in integrated circuits. These have been so rapid that in many instances the computer industry has been unable to take full advantage of them. Increasing circuit-level complexity has lowered costs and accelerated the long-standing trend making software the major cost component in computer systems. System reliability and maintainability now depend more on software than ever before.

The Department of Defense is embarking on a major new program in ICs. In this article I will discuss some of the reasons why we are starting this program and what we hope to achieve. We have named this project "Very High- Speed Integrated Circuits," or VHSIC for short.

It is interesting to note that DoD had a major role in initiating the IC industry. Soon after the invention of the IC in 1958 by Jack Kilby of Texas Instruments, DoD funded early IC research and development. Of even greater importance, the Minuteman program created an early market for the devices. In 1965 DoD commanded about 70 percent of the IC market, and even as late as 1970 the DoD market share was over 30 percent. Today this has decreased to about 7 percent and is still dropping. (The DoD dollar volume has actually increased somewhat from 1965 to the present but its growth is inconsequential in comparison to the exploding commerical market.)

Over the past decade DoD has followed a deliberate policy of not giving heavy funding to IC programs -- total annual funding has been a few million dollars per year. The department adopted this policy in the belief that commercial market pressures would yield IC advances from which DoD could benefit.

The VHSIC program is a reversal of that policy. DoD did not make the decision lightly. The program is a result of over a year of careful and thorough planning and includes the suggestions of experts in industry and education.

Trends in ICs

The usual method of indicating trends in IC technolgy is a simple graph plotting components per chip (on a logarithmic scale) against calendar year. The plot is usually a simple straight line (Figure 1).

The simplicity of such a plot can be deceiving. We can speak too glibly about the progression f...