DARPA Launches Pioneering Microelectronics Program

Exploring 3DHI in Microelectronics Manufacturing

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has initiated a significant leap in technological innovation with the introduction of the Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing (NGMM) program. This initiative is at the forefront of a new era in microelectronics, emphasizing the advancement of three-dimensional heterogeneous integration (3DHI). This pioneering effort aims not only to revolutionize the field of high-performance microelectronics manufacturing but also to position the United States at the helm of technological leadership.

“Rapidly shifting geopolitics and the COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted the need for stronger domestic supply chains – including U.S. microelectronics R&D, fabrication, packaging, and assembly,”

Dr. Dev Palmer, NGMM managing director at DARPA.

NGMM Program Overview

The NGMM program is a strategic initiative designed to cultivate groundbreaking developments in the realm of 3DHI, representing an innovative approach to microelectronics manufacturing. The primary objective of this program is to achieve national-level breakthroughs through novel design and engineering techniques. This initiative is a testament to DARPA’s commitment to fostering advanced research and development, which is fundamental to maintaining the technological supremacy of the United States.

Focus on 3DHI Technology

At the heart of the NGMM program is 3DHI technology, which is anticipated to be a game-changer in the manufacturing of microelectronics. This cutting-edge technology involves the integration of diverse materials, devices, and circuits through advanced packaging techniques. The adoption of 3DHI is crucial for enhancing the performance and capabilities of microelectronics, thereby solidifying the U.S.’s position as a leader in technological innovation.

Proposers Day and Collaboration Opportunities

In a proactive move to foster collaboration and exchange of ideas, DARPA has announced a Proposers Day scheduled for November 28. This event is an open invitation to members of industry, academia, and government to discuss the NGMM program’s objectives and collaborate on future developments. This initiative underscores the importance of collective effort in advancing the field of microelectronics, providing a platform for various stakeholders to contribute to this groundbreaking program.

The Role of CHIPS and Science Act of 2022

The NGMM program complements broader government initiatives like the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022. While the Act focuses on near-term advancements in silicon-based microchips and semiconductor technologies, NGMM targets over-the-horizon advances in 3DHI and the complexities of future microelectronics. This dual approach ensures that both immediate and long-term technological needs are addressed, paving the way for a robust and resilient microelectronics ecosystem.

ERI 2.0 and NGMM’s Broader Impact

As a cornerstone of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) 2.0, the NGMM program plays a crucial role in ensuring domestic leadership in microelectronics research, development, and manufacturing. ERI 2.0 is built on collaboration with industry and academia, targeting national-level concerns in microelectronics. It focuses on cross-functional and future-focused research, aligning closely with U.S. national security and economic interests.

  • Program Name: Next-Generation Microelectronics Manufacturing (NGMM)
  • Key Technology: 3D Heterogeneous Integration (3DHI)
  • Managing Director: Dr. Dev Palmer, DARPA
  • Proposers Day: November 28
  • Registration Deadline: November 21
  • Funding: Defense Department budget
  • Related Act: CHIPS and Science Act of 2022
  • Initiative: ERI 2.0


DARPA’s NGMM program represents a significant stride in microelectronics manufacturing, focusing on the transformative technology of 3DHI. It embodies the United States’ commitment to sustaining its competitive edge in the realm of technology. The upcoming Proposers Day provides a critical opportunity for collaboration and innovation, setting the stage for the future of microelectronics. The NGMM program, with its emphasis on advanced research and collaborative efforts, is poised to redefine the landscape of technological advancements, ensuring U.S. dominance in this critical field.


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