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Innovation Research in Application Specific Integrated Circuit ASIC Semiconductor Chip Design for Edge Computing in Manufacturing


a.      Innovation Research in Application Specific Integrated Circuit ASIC Semiconductor Chip Design for Edge Computing in Manufacturing

The objective of this subtopic is to maintain US manufacturing leadership by providing small business opportunities to develop technologies that will be applied in next-generation manufacturing [1]. Small businesses that provide applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) semiconductor technology design and concept development are afforded the opportunity to work with US semiconductor fabricators to bring AI technology that will rely on 5G broadband wireless communications to applications in the US manufacturing sector [2]. Many technologies that are presently applied in manufacturing process control, for example, that rely on wired communication links, will be superseded by wireless communications, and adaptive control approaches based on AI and machine learning strategies will be possible with the digital computing power that will be accessible with 5G broadband wireless communications.


This subtopic solicits feasibility research in new application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) designs that will enable AI application in edge computing applications such as automatic control. This subtopic reflects DOE’s support for to enable 5G/Advanced Wireless Technologies as part of its focus on enabling the Industries of the Future as well as DOE\EERE’s support for Advanced Microelectronics.


The introduction of 5G broadband wireless communications will enable manufacturers to access resources available only with 5G wireless – such as cloud computing and complex wireless sensor networks. This broadband access, in turn, will facilitate the application of digital computing at points of access or presence in manufacturing operations (edge computing). This includes AI applications in automatic control of discrete and continuous processes. Open and closed loop control in manufacturing requires sensing of process or operation variables and the application of algorithms by controllers to act on sensor measurements to control final elements in control loops. AI-based control approaches derive algorithms for closed loop control and models for open loop control using a variety of machine learning approaches to analyze data.


ASIC designs developed for this subtopic are expected to be 5G compatible and be of direct use in edge computing applied to US manufacturing, such as applications in automatic control. Small businesses providing promising new ASIC designs would be expected to work with semiconductor circuit manufactures to fabricate the new ASIC and integrate these into edge computing systems that would be used by manufacturers, with a specified purpose such as automatic control of processes and operations. Grant applications responsive to this Phase 1 funding opportunity will specify the proposed end use in US manufacturing of new ASIC designs, the AI and machine learning approaches to be applied by the ASIC, the possible integration of the ASIC into an edge computing system, and discuss the benefits of the possible new technology as compared with current manufacturing practice in the US.


Questions – Contact: Brian Valentine,


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