NSA program is not just about creating spy devices and gadgets for America’s spy agencies. In fact, NSA technology has knowingly and unknowingly touched the lives of ordinary Americans in different ways. From the cassette recorder to the personal computer to the talking doll; all these things owe their development to NSA technology. A talking doll, for example,can speak because it uses a microchip that contains a math formula that was originally penned by NSA engineers. Without NSA technology, all these devices would have taken between a decade and a decade and a half longer to develop.
A printed circuit board (PCB) is a component that is widely used in modern electronic devices. Circuits are either printed or etched in a PCB. By printing a circuit into the board the designers are able to conserve space. However, despite its compact size a printed circuit board is still able to hold numerous complex circuitsin different layers.
The first step in printed circuit board manufacturing involvesthe board’s design. Special software applications along with electronic design automation tools are used to create a suitable board design for single as well as multiple-layer PCBs. After the design phase is complete, the next step is that of determining the line impedance. Simultaneously, the board’s components are placed in their proper places and a signal trace is routed.
Thanks to new technology, computing devices have become smaller and more powerful. At the same time,there is also greater electronics portability. Cloud computing is a very good example of how a new technology is changing our lives. Other examples include the smartphone and smart-watch. A new NSA technology called Integrated Photonics promises to deliver what present-day electronics cannot – bandwidth and speed.
Most of us do not know much about the influence that NSA technology has had on new technology. This is because the agency is very strict about letting the world know what it does. Unquestionably, the biggest contribution made by NSA technology is in the field of computing. Way back in the fifties, NSA was convinced that even a primitive computer would be able to do far more than humans could. It therefore went out andcreated Abner which at the time was a very sophisticated computer. Though the modern computer is a far cry from Abner it still owes everything to NSA program.
Right or wrong, the NSA is continuously developing new designs and it is also refining fabrication technologies for complicated submicron feature-size ICs (integrated circuits). NSA’s microelectronic community has a very cozy and co-operative relationship with the semi-conductor industry in the US. NSA is however very concerned about the chip industry producing advanced chips at offshore locations. In an effort to bring back production to America, In 2013 NSA has jointly funded a Trusted Foundry (owned by IBM) to provide integrated circuits over the next decade. This deal is worth 600 million dollars and it also gives NSA access to IBM’s R&D facility and its latest semi-conductor technologies. This is a good example of how NSA technology, chip production and new technology are related to each other.