DARPA has made significant strides in the field of microsystems innovation by selecting 11 organizations to participate in the Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing (NGMM) program. This initiative aims to lay the foundation for the creation of a domestic center capable of fabricating 3D heterogeneously integrated (3DHI) microsystems.

NGMM will fuel microsystem innovations beyond 2D limitations

The chosen teams include Applied Materials, Inc., Arizona State University, BRIDG, HRL Laboratories, Intel Federal, North Carolina State University, Northrop Grumman Space Systems, Northrop Grumman Mission Systems, PseudolithIC, Raytheon Technologies, and Teledyne Scientific & Imaging.

Dr. Carl McCants, the special assistant to the DARPA director for the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), expressed confidence in the selected teams' ability to drive sustained progress in 3DHI innovation. He emphasized the high-risk nature of this mission, which seeks to revolutionize manufacturing science and establish the necessary infrastructure in the United States to support future microelectronics. By tackling thermal, electrical, mechanical, and design challenges, DARPA aims to achieve significant research breakthroughs necessary for disruptive technological advancements.

During Phase 0 of NGMM, the participating organizations will define, analyze, and offer expert recommendations for representative 3DHI microsystems. They will also identify the equipment, processes, hardware and software tools, and facility requirements needed for the production of these microsystems. The results of these comprehensive analyses will inform subsequent phases and endeavors within the program.

The development of 3DHI technologies allows for the stacking of independently manufactured components, such as chips or wafers, obtained from different facilities and composed of diverse semiconductors and materials into a single package. By focusing on advancements beyond traditional silicon-based microelectronics, NGMM aims to provide revolutionary enhancements in functionality and performance. These innovations further solidify the United States' potential to become a leader in cutting-edge microelectronics of the future.

NGMM represents a key component of the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) 2.0, an overarching DARPA initiative designed to ensure American leadership in cross-functional and forward-thinking microelectronics research, development, and manufacturing. Through collaborations with industry and academia, ERI 2.0 addresses national-level microelectronics concerns and serves the interests of U.S. national security and economic growth.