A Brief History of CNN and ONR
Cellular Nonlinear Networks and the MURI projects really trace their genesis to the mid-1970s. The ONR Nanoelectronics program was formulated in 1974 to focus basic research on those scientific areas that would influence the development of future electron devices. High speed, high frequency, and radiation hard devices with critical dimensions of less than 1 μm were expected to dominate the Navy’s future. Various materials issues were to be considered, including those associated with both silicon and compound semiconductors. Another important component was the development of computer methods that could simulate and evaluate device concepts without huge investments in experiments. It has been said that science research has three legs, theory, experiment, and numerical simulations. Device and circuit simulations were critical components in the early stages of the plans, and the studies in nonlinear circuits was part of that. Leon Chua was a key figure in the ONR programs.