Raytheon has announced plans to use the world’s first computer capable of switching its form of architecture depending on the application to process data that will help detect buried land mines and tunnels.

The morphable networked micro-architecture (Monarch) device uses massive computing resources to simultaneously process data. Other advantages are a capacity for a large volume of data and efficient use of energy.

According to Nick Uros, vice president for Raytheon’s Advanced Concepts and Technology group, the Monarch chip offers superior processing performance.

“It will ingest a vast amount of data from our sensor and process it with outstanding energy efficiency. Many processors have greater computing power but use too much energy or can’t accommodate enough data for this purpose. Consequently, a condition known as input-output data starvation becomes a problem,” Uros said.

“That won’t happen with Monarch because of its balanced architecture,” he added.

Raytheon will use the Monarch-equipped sensor on the seismic and acoustic vibration imaging programme, administered by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

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The company is developing a sensor that will employ laser radar to find hidden targets by measuring ground-surface vibration.

By Daniel Garrun.