Boeing plans to tap power of advanced computing and networks with new ‘disruptor’ DC&N business

Boeing is launching a new disruptive computing and networks (DC&N) organisation to develop computing and communications solutions for advanced commercial and government aerospace applications.

By leveraging core technologies in quantum communications and computing, neuromorphic processing and advanced sensing, Boeing said the new organisation will help it to develop breakthrough solutions in secure communications, artificial intelligence and complex system optimisation.

In addition to building internal capabilities, DC&N will also work closely with Boeing HorizonX, the company’s innovation cell, to identify external partners for collaboration to accelerate growth.

“Advanced computing and communications technologies are increasingly at the core of all aerospace innovation,” said Greg Hyslop, Boeing’s chief technology officer and senior vice president of engineering, test & technology. “We’re excited to stand up the Disruptive Computing and Networks organisation because it will help us develop new businesses and partnerships in this rapidly-expanding field, delivering more value to our customers and helping further define our second century of aerospace leadership”

Hyslop told GeekWire: “We’re not going to go and build our own supercomputer, but we need to monitor what’s going on. We may end up writing algorithms that are on those supercomputers to solve some of our hardest problems. For example, AI has obvious applications in autonomous flight, while quantum computers could be tailor-made for the network optimisation challenges that Boeing will face as it works on next-generation air traffic management systems. That’s a no-kidding hard problem.”

DC&N will be based in Southern California and operate as a part of Boeing Engineering, Test & Technology. Charles Toups, formerly the vice president and general manager of Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T), will lead the organisation as vice president and general manager.

Prior to leading BR&T, Toups served in a number of senior engineering management and business positions at Boeing, including vice president and general manager of the network and tactical systems division at Boeing Defense, Space & Security, vice president of engineering for Boeing Defense, Space & Security, and vice president of Boeing Satellite Systems, where he lead multiple commercial and government communication satellite businesses.