US funding for key IT research programs could be slashed

U.S. President Barack Obama is proposing a DARPA budget of $2.9 billion for 2015, but less money is going to ICT and electronics research

By , IDG News Service |  Hardware

DARPA also is reducing the money assigned to research new materials and manufacturing technologies that could help take chips to the nanoscale level. In a speech last year, Robert Colwell, director of the Microsystems Technology Office at DARPA, said more research was needed on future chip technologies. Early last year, DARPA and Semiconductor Research Corp. -- a research consortium backed by IBM, Intel, Micron, Globalfoundries and Texas Instruments -- assigned $194 million in chip research to universities.

More money is being assigned to warfare related research. The single largest budget of $386.9 million is being assigned to the network-centric warfare technology program, which focuses on the development of networking, robotics and other technology in naval systems to minimize damage and increase battlefield efficiency. Robots from companies like iRobot are already being used by the U.S. military in the battlefield.

The sensor technology program also received a funding boost with a budget of $312.8 million, with research focused on technology that could be used in drones. Last year the program had funding of $276.4 million.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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