CEC faculty partner with Look Dynamics for DARPA project

Over the last several months, members of CEC faculty including Dr. David Hartup, Dr. John Femiani, Dr. Chi-Hao Cheng and Dr. Gokhan Sahin, and Mr. Anthony Rapp (Dept. of Physics) have been working on a big project.

The team has been working with a small company in Colorado called Look Dynamics, and the project is being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The goal of this agency is to invest in breakthrough technologies for national security.

Through partnering with Look Dynamics, the team is looking at how to use optical processing for artificial intelligence applications. Optical processing uses photons to perform computations instead of electrons as is done in normal electronic circuits. A CAD model of the project design

With nearly a million dollars in funding from DARPA, the technology that they’re creating has the potential of being 1000 times faster and lower power than current technology.

Though they’re approaching their project completion in December, their work may not be finished.

“There are two phases, but we’re hoping to obtain funding for [more] work on it, too,” said Dr. Hartup.

A prototype of the project that Look Dynamics and CEC faculty are working onThe project also involved undergraduate students. One of the students, Owen Hichens, has been working to code a simulation to simulate results that the team will use for the project. 

“I think it’s been a great experience,” said Hichens, a senior computer engineering major. “Getting technical job experience while going to school is extremely useful.”

By Jenna Calderón, CEC Reporter