Researchers an scholars at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras have developed India’s first indigenously or natively/locally developed RISC V Microprocessor – ‘Shakti’. The microprocessor built in & by India, will prove to be very useful in reducing dependency on microchips which are imported from abroad. It can be utilized in surveillance cameras and smartphones.
With this, Shakti has become India’s first microprocessor not only Made in India but also originated from within the country unlike other microprocessors which are either imported or made in India but by foreign private companies.
It is to be noted that India’s first “Made in India” microprocessor was built in August 2017 by US-based chimpmaker Intel’s R&D centre in Bangalore and as this was first microprocessor made locally in India however the technology used, fabrication and company behind it was not India-based.
Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in Chandigarh has fabricated the microchip which is essential for ‘SHAKTI’.
According to IIT Madras, SHAKTI would assist the defence, nuclear power and government agencies in reducing the threat from systems infected with back-doors and hardware Trojans.
“It could also be used in embedded low power wireless systems and networking systems, besides reducing reliance on imported microprocessors in communications and defence sectors. The microprocessor could be used by others as it is on par with International Standards,” said a statement from the Institute.
RIMO is the code name of the SHAKTI C-class based SoC (System on a Chip) with size of 144 sq.mm. and operate at a frequency of upto 70 MHz. An SoC or System on Chip is an integrated circuit that integrates all components of a computer or other electronic system. These components typically include a central processing unit, memory, input/output ports and secondary storage – all on a single substrate.
SHAKTI is an open-source initiative by the RISE group at IIT-Madras, which is not only building open source, production grade processors, but also associated components like interconnect fabrics, verification tools, storage controllers, peripheral IPs and SOC tools.
The Project SHAKTI is funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
An open-source ecosystem such as SHAKTI promotes a mix-and-match environment where users can plug-in different open-source or proprietary IPs and innovate on new ideas and projects.
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