As the director of the Strategic Technology Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (or DARPA), Dr Mark Rosker leads the office in development of develop high-performance intelligent microsystems and next-generation components to ensure U.S. dominance in the areas of Command, Control, Communications, Computing, Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), Electronic Warfare (EW), and Directed Energy (DE). The effectiveness, survivability, and lethality of these systems depend critically on the microsystems contained inside. Mark was a program manager in the office from 2003 to 2011, where he developed a portfolio of technical programs in gallium nitride and other compound semiconductor radio-frequency devices, heterogeneous circuit integration, terahertz electronics and quantum cascade lasers.
Here he talks about innovations led by the DARPA’s MTO office, the Electronic Resurgence Initiative and how DARPA is supporting the 4th wave of electronic development, advances beyond the von Neumann Architecture, hardware security, new types of devices that can work at extreme temperatures, and electronics resilience towards EMP attacks.
Quote: “I think you're bounded by your imagination. Of course the rules of physics have something to do with some of these things. But one of the fun things we were talking about being a Program Manager […] is to try and think bigger than you've ever had an opportunity to think before. That GPS […] sounded like science fiction at that time. And then the next generation beyond that, that said, I'm going to reduce that entire rack of equipment, to something that I can put on in my pocket. That also sounded like science fiction. So I don't want to tell you all my good ideas. They all sound like science fiction.”
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