ETI Paper Calls for Overhaul of Microelectronics Modernization

ETI Paper Calls for Overhaul of Microelectronics Modernization

ARLINGTON, VA – NDIA’s Emerging Technologies Institute (ETI) issued a white paper on November 15, “Modernizing Defense Microelectronics: Challenges and Opportunities,” that addresses barriers to effective modernization of microelectronics for defense systems. The paper argues that an overhaul is essential for the military to maintain its technical superiority across its suite of defense capabilities in an era of near-peer competition. 

“Continued overmatch requires addressing the integral role microelectronics play in both legacy and emerging weapon systems,” The Hon. Ellen M. Lord, former under secretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment and a member of NDIA ETI’s Advisory Board wrote in the paper’s foreword.

"If appropriately implemented, the recommendations in ETI's new white paper can make modernizing microelectronics in defense systems more frequent and technically feasible," Dr. Arun Seraphin, executive director of NDIA ETI said. "At the same time, these changes will support efforts by program offices to continuously upgrade their system electronics in a cost-effective manner."

Findings include: 

  1. DoD lacks a centralized organization with sufficient authority, resources, and expertise to assist Program Offices with acquiring, sustaining, and modernizing their microelectronics.

  2. Technical challenges include insufficient information on the cost and benefits of modernization, and acquisition challenges include missing policies to promote continuous microelectronics upgrades.

The reports recommendations include:

  1. Encourage continuous microelectronics upgrades in defense systems.

  2. Improve defense microelectronics security standards.

  3. Use pilot programs to explore innovative practices for microelectronics acquisition.

  4. Designate a centralized DoD microelectronics support activity.

  5. Implement approaches to better integrate commercial state-of-the-practice microelectronics into defense systems.

ETI also released a podcast on the paper, that can be found here. For more information, contact Habiba Hamid at




The Emerging Technologies Institute was founded in 2021 to provide leadership, bolster public awareness and create independent, reliable research about the technologies critical to our nation's economy and national defense. Staffed by researchers and subject matter experts and backed by a preeminent advisory board, ETI focuses on the modernization priorities that integrate cutting-edge technological advancements in the private sector with the DOD’s future warfighting needs.



Topics: Government Policy, STEM

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