Darpa’s budget for the UPSIDE program won’t be disclosed until the
solicitation phase is completed. Darpa’s initial goal is to encourage
participation by science and technology-based firms and educational
No companies or organizations have yet been
enlisted to work on the analog program. Darpa said it has had
discussions with a number of groups, both in academia and industry to
lay the ground work for the program. Based on those discussions, analog
technologies are available for ISR applications but needed further
development, Hammerstrom said.
“Darpa saw this as an opportunity
to change the paradigm of computation with the UPSIDE program,
particularly in the area of image processing, which is critical to the
DoD,” he said. The agency thinks there are “many potential participants
that we have not talked to who could contribute to the UPSIDE program.”
technology is not new, and some analog chip companies may already be
exploring its benefits. Analog Devices Inc. [Norwood, Mass.], for
instance, last year acquired Lyric Semiconductor, a privately held
company that was described as having developed “an innovative set of
techniques with the potential to achieve an order of magnitude
improvement in power efficiency in mixed-signal processing and enable
additional signal processing functionality in a broad set of
Every now and then something new comes along that causes you to want to dig down and find out a little more information. Tearing my attention away from Caitlin Jenner for a moment, I thought I'd take a closer look at the remarkable Solar Impulse 2 – an airplane powered solely by solar energy.
When analog engineers get together, the discussion always turns technical with a touch of fun. Laptops open up, schematics are surveyed and discussed, good hearty laughter abounds, and fond reminiscing of analog icons no longer with us brings out old stories and some good memories.
It might seem counterintuitive that an active device solution consumes less power than a passive device. Every design engineer knows that a passive crystal resonator (XTAL) doesn’t draw power, so why use an oscillator in place of an XTAL in a power sensitive application? The answer becomes clear when total system power is considered.