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IIT-Madras creates ‘Shakti’, India’s first microprocessor

Your mobile phones, security cameras and other smart devices may soon be powered by India’s first indigenous Microprocessor.

 The microprocessor “Shakti” was designed, developed and booted by Indian Institute of Technology Madras, and with a microchip fabricated in the Semi-Conductor Laboratory of Indian Space Research Organization(Isro) at Chandigarh. This will effectively reduce dependency on foreign made microchips and the cyber-attack risk in the defense and communication sectors. This chip has been developed at an expenditure of Rs 11 crore.

Objectives

  • The project “Shakti” is solely aimed at developing components of microprocessor system and industrial-grade microprocessors indigenously.
  • The Project “Shakti” is partially financed by the MeitY – Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and is a 20 years old project to develop indigenous microprocessors.

Key Highlights

  • The microprocessor is customizable to any device as it is built on an open source set architecture (ISA),a group of simple instruction called RISC V.
  • The RISC-V is a free and open ISA, allowing a new era of processor improvement via open standard collaboration.
  • It paves way for 50 years computing innovation and design by delivering a new level of extensible and free hardware and software freedom on architecture.
  • The ISA is essentially the machine language or programming and provides commands to the processor instructing it on the tasks to be performed.
  • The concept to this project was first incubated in 2011 and some plans and motions were then started. An open-source, high level synthesis language named “Bluespec” went into making the chips.
  • At the beginning, the IIT –Madras researchers built a normative design to measure the practicability. Diverse devices may need a dissimilar type of hardware and may be even new features or instructions.

Connotation

  • “Shakti” will reduce dependency on foreign made microchips and the threat of cyber-attacks in different sectors.
  • It is designedto be used in wireless systems, mobile computing and networking systems, along with reducing dependency on foreign-made microprocessors in communication and defense sectors.
  • It may also power the future mobile phones, smart meters and surveillance cameras.
  • The brain of all computing and electronic devices, many such microprocessors that are connected are used to operate larger high-speed systems and supercomputers.
Posted in: Current Affair 2018

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