DARPA worried about power in embedded computing

DARPA has decided that the enemy of embedded computing is a lack of power and wants people to come up with ideas that can create a 75-fold increase.

Getting power into embedded or sensor systems is currently preventing such gadgets from taking off.

Now the technologists from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency are looking for an ambitious answer to the problem as part of a programme to develop power technologies that could bolster system power output from today’s 1 GFLOPS/watt to 75 GFLOPS/watt.

In a statement, DARPA says that the world needs at least 50 GFLOPS/w, and requirements of at least 75 GFLOPS/w can be confidently anticipated. The best that can be managed so far are on GFLOPS/w and industry trends will provide power efficiencies that are well short of required performance.

The programme has the catchy title, the “Power Efficiency Revolution For Embedded Computing Technologies” or PERFECT for short. This indicates that DARPA spends far too much of its resources coming up with funky acronyms.

The statement said that the PERFECT program will use industry fabrication geometry advances to 7nm. It should address embedded systems processing power efficiencies and performance, and are not concerned with developments that focus on exascale processing problems.

People do not have to build operational hardware, all that will need to be done for the project to be considered a success is to simulate the hardware and demonstrate progress.