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NextFlex Members Dive into Materials Properties for a Database Schema

By Scott Miller, NextFlex Director of Strategic Programs

Establishing a database of FHE material properties and processing information was recognized as a critical need by the NextFlex community early in the formation of NextFlex, even prior to the first meeting of the Technical Working Groups. The database and its linkage to design, modeling, and simulation tools will help accelerate the design cycle for FHE-enabled products. I’m glad to report that we’re now seeing broad member support and enthusiasm for making this vision a reality. On November 28 and 29, 20 subject matter experts from NextFlex members representing industry, academia, and government met at NIST in Gaithersburg for a workshop focused on developing the database schema – the blueprints that define what data should be housed in the database, and how the data will be organized. Detailed descriptions were assembled to create schema for the six functional categories of FHE materials that had previously been brainstormed and prioritized by NextFlex Technical Working Groups: conductors; resistors; dielectrics; substrates, encapsulants and adhesives. In addition, process parameters associated with several FHE manufacturing processes were identified to create the first process schema.

NextFlex Material and Process Database Workshop, Chris Soles, NIST, Zachary Trautt, NIST

Zachary Trautt from NIST leads a discussion about material property descriptors for the proposed NextFlex Material and Process Database. 20 SMEs from industry, academia, and government at NextFlex members spent two days debating and deliberating detailed material property and process variables to construct schema that will be used to stand-up the database.

As we accelerate toward standing up the database, we look to the NextFlex community for additional input. We continue to develop manufacturing process schema (which identify machine control parameters, physical settings, and environmental factors that affect the output of a manufacturing operation) for a wide variety of FHE manufacturing processes. We urgently encourage members with experience with FHE manufacturing processes to contribute to this activity.

NextFlex Material and Process Database Workshop, Chris Soles, NIST, Zachary Trautt, NIST

Christopher Soles and Zachary Trautt from NIST facilitate and organize material properties to be captured in the NextFlex Material and Process Database. The data will support FHE design, modeling, and simulation, as well as sharing of manufacturing process information.

Thank you to all of the NextFlex members who attended and supported the workshop, and who committed to continuing to support this effort: Dan Berrigan (Air Force Research Lab); Carl Thrasher (Air Force Research Lab): Eric Forsythe (Army Research Lab); Sami Hawasli (Army Research Lab); Harvey Tsang (Army Research Lab); Mark Poliks (Binghamton University); John Williams (Boeing); Greg Blackman (DuPont); Justin Chow (Georgia Tech); Sam Graham (Georgia Tech); Daniel Hines (Laboratory for Physical Sciences); James Dunning (Lockheed Martin); Michael Mastropietro (NextFlex); Dean DeLongchamp (NIST); Michael Heiber (NIST); Nils Persson (NIST); Chris Soles (NIST); Zachary Trautt (NIST); Bruce Kahn (Rochester Institute of Technology), and Massood Atashbar (Western Michigan University). Special thanks to our colleagues at NIST who helped organize and host the workshop at the NIST National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.

For more information or to contribute to the ongoing activity, contact Scott Miller at NextFlex.