Semiconductors and microelectronics are some of the key components in building cutting edge capabilities for our national security and defense technologies, from satellites and radar to vehicles and communications equipment. Ensuring that these components are designed with the utmost security in mind is a critical but challenging task. In the past, the security requirements associated with the development of microelectronics have limited the ability of the US Department of Defense (DoD) to take advantage of the latest innovations.

Through a recent DoD sponsored project, Rapid Assured Microelectronics Prototypes (RAMP) with Advanced Commercial Capabilities, the goal is to leverage commercial best practices to expedite the development process and ensure reliable, secure, state-of-the-art microelectronic design and manufacturing technology for national security and defense applications. The DoD recently announced that it was selected Microsoft supports the second phase of this project.

This project builds on a 40-year collaboration between Microsoft and the US Department of Defense to bring commercial innovation to the national security community. Microsoft previously led a coalition of partners working with the DoD on the first phase of this initiative: Developing design skills that meet the division’s mission priorities. In this second phase, Microsoft and our partners will build on these successful designs and begin developing custom integrated chips and system-on-a-chip (SoC) designs. These new designs will achieve lower power consumption, improved performance, reduced physical size, and improved reliability for use in DoD systems.

Microsoft has selected microelectronics industry leaders in the Commercial and Defense Industrial Base (DIB) to develop this phase of the RAMP project. Employees include Ansys, Applied Materials, Inc., BAE Systems, Battelle Memorial Institute, Cadence Design Systems, Cliosoft, Inc., Flex Logix, GlobalFoundries, Intel Federal, Raytheon Intelligence and Space, Siemens EDA, Synopsys, Inc., Tortuga Logic and Zero ASIC Corporation.

The RAMP solution will provide an advanced microelectronics development platform for business-critical applications with cloud, AI and machine learning-based automation, security and quantifiable security. This solution is hosted in Azure government, offers the broadest range of commercial innovations to governments with services available for all US data classifications.

RAMP is a critical initiative that enables the DoD to leverage a secure, scalable microelectronic supply chain while ensuring that design and manufacture meet stringent security and compliance requirements. By leveraging cloud-based secure design functions, RAMP will expand the number of foundries available to the DoD, increase resilience and promote the growth of the domestic semiconductor supply chain. RAMP’s success will also enable the department to be more agile with technology developments, adapt quickly to changing needs, and adopt the latest in technology skills. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the DoD and our industrial partners to deliver groundbreaking, transformative solutions to secure the microelectronic supply chain.

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