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WHITE PAPER Bringing commercial technologies to defense in the age of AI mrcy.com 3 mrcy.com 3 ENCOURAGING INNOVATION WITH MODULAR AND OPEN TECHNOLOGIES Although commercial processing subsystems are often based on open architectures, defense electronics providers have historically utilized closed architectures due to the emphasis by the Department of Defense (DoD) for application-specific solutions to meet unique reliability, performance, space and security requirements. However, this approach has proven that it cannot keep up with the pace of innovation. At the same time, our adversaries, many of which have a centralized government infrastructure, are leveraging and weaponizing commercial technology at a rapid pace. This has the potential to significantly erode our current military technology advantage. We must adopt an open, modular, increasingly digital design approach if we are to compete on the global stage in the age of AI-enabled everything. A modular and open systems approach accelerates AI computing through design flexibility, which reduces complexity and maximizes investment, advancing AI system deployment with incremental technology refreshes, allowing test engineers to quickly change hardware pieces to meet evolving software requirements. Simplifying technology upgrades increases refresh rate and performance capabilities in the field. ACCELERATING AI WITH PROVEN COTS COMPONENTS Commercial technology companies are defining the art of what 's possible in the AI age with significant investment, research and development resulting in rapid technology breakthroughs. A commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) model approach to subsystem design and pre-integration helps the defense industry keep pace with AI evolution by leveraging best-in-class commercial technologies, engineering mindshare and commercial R&D investment. COTS-based solutions are affordable and simplify integration. Systems that lack open COTS technologies often feature unique specifications, components and interfaces that are custom designed or have a limited number of suppliers, making them expensive, difficult to upgrade and ultimately unsustainable. DoD regulations and bureaucracy further constrain technology refreshes for these costly systems, prolonging the use of obsolete products in the field. Alternatively, COTS-based systems, with an ecosystem of software and applications, improve interoperability and simplify integration across cloud, fog and edge layers. To effectively leverage cutting-edge commercial AI technologies, defense suppliers must adopt a new model to deliver at the speed of innovation while still addressing the inherent challenges of deploying military technology. In this model, suppliers serve as a liaison between prime contractors, end customers and technology leaders to architect affordable subsystems that maximize performance and reliability. Partnering with commercial innovation leaders for support and early design access ensures rapid integration of cutting- edge capabilities that can then be aligned to defense deployment schedules. It supports long program schedules as partners work together to prolong key component lifecycles with last-time buys or other planned inventory management to mitigate obsolescence – ensuring availability and uptime for critical AI systems between budget cycles. MAKING REAL-TIME DECISIONS WITH COMMERCIAL COMPUTING Artificial intelligence has traditionally relied on cloud data centers, running performance and cost-optimized server arrays, to meet growing workload demands. However, sophisticated sensors, growing amounts of data and higher-resolution data, along with the need to gain accurate, actionable and real- time intelligence, has driven the need for data center-caliber computing closer to the edge. This explosion of big data is everywhere and in an increasingly competitive world, nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of defense. Compounded by defense's need for platform mobility, security and closed networks, this has created its own set of unique challenges. Mercur y 's Next-Generation Business Model bridges the gap between commercial technologies and defense programs through continuous investment in critical technologies, capabilities and expertise.

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