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The phase 1 submission deadline is January 22, 2019.


Air Force Research Labs (AFRL), in partnership with AFWERX, is launching the Advanced Microelectronics Design and Prototype Challenge. The Challenge will be seeking successfully designed and silicon-validated Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) and System on a Chip (SoC) solutions using advanced process technology nodes.

We are looking for products or solutions that effectively demonstrate the benefits of utilizing state of the art ASIC and SoC capabilities offered by commercial industry (size reduction, 100x to 1000x performance improvements) while maintaining the integrity (provenance, traceability) and security needs (information protection, mathematical algorithms) of critical systems.

The USAF will support the participants through the challenge by providing a commercial cloud-based development environment, design and verification tools, IP libraries, design expertise support, and fabrication. Access to this platform will be provided to selected teams at no cost to them.

The challenge will be conducted over five phases over the span of the next 12 months. The first phase is focused on ideas and concept proposals. Those selected will be invited to participate in our showcase event in Las Vegas, February 2019. At the showcase, you will have the opportunity to share your concepts with visual displays explaining your design. There will also be private meetings with USAF Subject Matter Experts to answer specific questions about your design. During this event, we will be finalizing the teams that we will work with through the subsequent phases, including rapid prototyping.

Please log in and learn more about this $2 billion Department of Defense initiative.

  • There is no charge to register

  • There is no charge to participate

And your opportunity is:

  • Ability to receive resources and support to develop cutting-edge SoC while maintaining the design IP that is yours to retain

  • Opportunity to access a state of the art SoC development platform that includes Electronic Design Automation (EDA) tools for up to one year, a value of up to $5M

  • Access to a library of design IP, a value of up to $5M

  • Opportunity to partner with the United States Air Force (USAF) to fabricate your SoC

  • AFWERX will facilitate partnerships to augment your areas of expertise through peer and government collaboration

  • Potential invitation to attend the Challenge Showcase event/s in Las Vegas to meet peers, USAF customers, other government agencies and the investment community

  • Official recognition for you, your team and your company

  • You will be helping the USAF and improving the security of the United States

  • Access to a top Department of Defense initiative with an initial approved budget of $2 billion

Please click “Join the Challenge” for further details.


Challenge Statement

What is your solution for a 14nm advanced System on a Chip (SoC) designed to operate and improve the features of an autonomous product of your choosing?



PHASE 1: Submit Proposals
SUBMIT: 11/5/18 — 1/22/19
SHOWCASE: 2/19/19 — 2/20/19
PHASE 2: Design & Simulation
SUBMIT: 3/1/19 — 6/28/19
SHOWCASE: 7/30/19 — 7/31/19
PHASE 3: Physical Design
SUBMIT: 8/6/19 — 10/4/19
SHOWCASE: 10/15/19 — 10/16/19
PHASE 4: Physical Prototype
SUBMIT: 10/22/19 — 4/18/20
SHOWCASE: 5/5/20 — 5/6/20
PHASE 5: Prototype Testing


Register for Design Platform Bootcamp in Las Vegas, December 4th and 5th

This bootcamp will train you to use the SoC cloud-based design platform in Las Vegas for up to 90 participants.  The event is for selected participants only and is limited to one person per team.  This bootcamp will give you an opportunity to meet your peers and subject matter experts as well as learn the specific skills required to get the most out of the state-of-the-art SoC development platform that includes design tools and critical IP functions, a value of up to $10M per participant.

The bootcamp will be held over 2 days at the AFWERX Vegas Innovation Hub.  If you are unable to attend in person, the bootcamp will be videotaped and the recording will be available within 10 days of the event itself. Time is short so register now. Bootcamp training dates are December 4-5, 2018.