DARPA RF-FPGA program awards six contracts to develop programmable RF front-ends

ARLINGTON, Va., 30 Aug. 2012. RF and microwave technology experts at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are working with six defense companies and universities to develop programmable RF front-end components to reduce costs and development time for military communications, electronic warfare (EW), and signals intelligence (SIGINT) systems.

DARPA has awarded six contracts thus far for the Radio Frequency Field Programmable Gate Arrays (RF-FPGA) program, which seeks to reuse the same set of RF front-end components across different applications by programming the transceiver chain.

Essentially, the DARPA RF-FPGA program attempts to do for RF and microwave technology what field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) have done for digital computing, which is to reduce costs, cut development time, and ease development across a broad range of applications.

The RF-FPGA program will develop technology that eliminates redundant and costly hardware development necessary to use a new wireless function or waveform. RF FPGA components will contain analog circuitry with reprogrammable functions. Unlike digital FPGAs, however, the program does not seek to develop technology that strictly uses typical gate-level digital FPGA hardware.

Those DARPA has chosen to participate in the RF-FPGA program are the Northrop Grumman Corp. Electronic Systems segment in Linthicum, Md.; the University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles; the Boeing Co. Research & Technology segment (BR&T) in Seattle; Colorado Engineering Inc. in Colorado Springs, Colo.; the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.; and Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind.

Northrop Grumman won a $9.5 million contract on 17 Aug.; USC won a $3.3 on 20 Aug.; Boeing won a $2 million contract on 15 Aug.; Colorado Engineering won a $1.9 million contract on 6 Aug.; IBM won a $1.2 million contract on 30 July; and Purdue won a $861,049 contract on 6 July.

DARPA researchers say the hardware its contractors develop in the RF-FPGA program will help realize dynamically programmable analog and RF blocks and programmable transceivers capable of configuring for a variety of wireless applications while maintaining near optimal performance. The RF-FPGA program hardware also should be adaptable to future wireless standards.

Ultimately, the program seeks to reduce costly and time-consuming application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) tape-outs by capturing the performance of several RF systems in one RF-FPGA design cycle, DARPA officials say.

For more information contact Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems online at www.es.northropgrumman.com; USC at www.usc.edu; Boeing Research & Technology at www.boeing.com; Colorado Engineering at www.coloradoengineeringinc.com; the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center at www.watson.ibm.com; or Purdue University at www.purdue.edu.

Additional information about the DARPA RF-FPGA program is online at https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=7c438631d57659b7b9f932df6d3da484&tab=core&_cview=1.

Follow Military & Aerospace Electronics and Avionics Intelligence news updates on Twitter

Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account.


Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

General Micro "Horizon" C299

The C299 Horizon is a third generation, 6U cPCI SBC module based on GMS’ upgradable CPU technolog...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

API DC Link Power Film Capacitors

High reliability DC link capacitors for power inverter applications which require superior life e...

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card that combine...

Electronic Warfare VPX Products

The VPX product line includes three products: Modular Quad IF Up and Down Converter, Modular Dire...

Interpoint™ MTR Series™ 40 Volt

The MTR Series of 28 volt dc-dc converters offers up to 30 watts of output power from single, dua...

API Large Diameter High Temp Solder-In EMI Filters

New EMI filters feature a .400” diameter mounting with high temperature construction able to with...

Hermetically-Sealed Custom Circular Connectors

API Technologies’ Spectrum Control line offers a new family of hermetically sealed circular conne...

General Micro "Atom" XPC40X Rugged, Ultra-Small, Ultra-Low-Power Intel Atom™ CPU SBC

The XPC40X Atom is a rugged, low cost, ultra-low power, lightweight, Atom™ based computer system....

General Micro's VS295 Eclipse

The VS295 Eclipse is fifth generation, VME SBC module based on GMS, upgradable CPU technology. It...

Related Companies

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board computers in the industry....

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

API Technologies Corp

Who We Are API Technologies is a dominant technology provider of RF/microwave, microelectronics, and security technol...

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Controls Defense Solutions (CWCDS) is a long establish...

GE Intelligent Platforms

GE Intelligent Platforms is a leading global provider of embedded computing systems and modules for a wide range of a...

Crane Aerospace & Electronics

When failure is NOT an option...rely on Crane Aerospace & Electronics. We supply high-density, high-reliability c...

Dawn VME Products

Dawn provides customers an in-depth and broad range of system and product knowledge and expertise coupled with the la...
Wire News provided by   

social activity

Webcasts

Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!


Mil & Aero Magazine

October 2014
Volume 25, Issue 10
file

Download Our Apps



iPhone

iPad

Android

Follow Us On...



Newsletters

Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information
SUBSCRIBE

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers
SUBSCRIBE

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.
SUBSCRIBE

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications
SUBSCRIBE

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles
SUBSCRIBE