Feeds

Cal Tech, Berkeley and UCSB working on 'iPhoD'

Military photonic device deals inked

Security for virtualized datacentres

The US military has handed out triple multimillion-dollar contracts to Californian university tech labs, aimed at developing a device called an "iPhoD".

The iPhoD is not, as one might have supposed, something to do with a famous nibbled-fruit hardware'n'lifestyle firm. Rather, it stands for "integrated Photonic Delay" - essentially an optical component, in this case a delay, on a chip rather than in a conventional fibre device.

There are massive bandwidth optical networks already in service in the US military, for instance linking the various subsystems of the B-2 Stealth bomber. Pentagon boffins believe that iPhoDs would be useful in building a future capability to handle optical traffic on chips.

According to the original iPhoD solicitation document:

The iPhoD program will build the framework of a scalable integrated photonic platform technology that provides for the handling and manipulation of photons with throughput efficiency and precision approaching that of electrons within electronic integrated circuits.

It's also a widely-held aspiration outside US military circles to make a shift from today's electronic devices toward the possible "photonic" or "optical" machinery of tomorrow. This could enable the IT world to leap over the approaching, apparently insurmountable barriers to further electronic development.

For now, however, the iPhoD remains in the realm of DARPA, the Pentagon tech bureau whose task is not so much to develop ideas which seem likely to work, as to check out unlikely notions and (generally) find that they're unachievable. Some DARPA programmes pan out: most don't.

In charge of investigating the feasibility of iPhoDs on the agency's behalf will be researchers at Cal Tech and the University of California campuses at Santa Barbara and Berkeley. The three boffinry shops were awarded $3,202,287, $9,215,092 and $5,651,797 respectively in deals inked last week. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
VMware's tool to harden virtual networks: a spreadsheet
NSX security guide lands in intriguing format
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.