DARPA Calls on HP For Battlefield Duty

HP is preparing to announce a multi-million dollar
grant from the U.S. military to help it stay connected,
internetnews.com has learned.

A source close to the deal said HP Labs will work with scientists at
DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) on how best to use
TCP/IP technology to improve the reliability of communications and data
networks in combat situations. Last month, the U.S. Department of
Defense-sponsored agency detailed its current efforts to bridge the gap
between fundamental discoveries and their military uses.

Executives with HP and DARPA were not immediately available to
comment on whether the award issued next week would be covered under
DARPA’s revised 2005 annual budget of $2.97 billion or its scheduled
$3.08 billion budget for 2006.

Information technology at DARPA has been instrumental in many crucial
developments: the computer mouse, firewalls, asynchronous transfer mode,
synchronous optical networks, packet switching (including TCP/IP),
search engines, and natural language processing.

However, DARPA has very limited overhead and no laboratories or
facilities, so it must rely on private enterprise to help foster
innovations.

HP’s long history with DARPA and TCP/IP communications goes back well
before the days of ARPANET , the pre-cursor to the
modern day Internet.

More recently, HP Labs recently announced its cross-bar latch approach to transistors. The advance in nanotechnology was supported by
funding from DARPA and is an extension of a $12.5 million grant the HP
Labs molecular electronics won in June 2001.

DARPA also funded collaboration between HP and MIT called project Oxygen
to explore new forms of pervasive computing, which produced advances in
speech recognition, automated systems and location-based services.

And a team of HP researchers recently completed the first study in
quantum game theory using human subjects, also funded through a DARPA
grant.

HP Labs has also worked with the NSA on securing and scaling delivery of
streaming media delivery over networks.

A division of the U.S. Navy is testing security software developed by
researchers within HP Labs to better secure Windows XP.

The two organizations have even shared staff. Stephen Squires, HP’s
chief science officer, came to HP after serving as the special assistant
for IT to the director of DARPA.

HP Senior Fellow Alan Kay’s “Croquet” work is also being considered
by the military for training radio technicians to build field
communications systems in virtual terrain replicating the landscape in
Iraq.

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