The Indian Institute of Technology in Madras, last week, made a hallmark breakthrough for Indian computing.
A group of engineers from the institute has managed to develop and boot up the first indigenously built microprocessor, for use in mobile computing and wireless devices.
According to a statement from the university, the new Shakti processor can be used in place of imported processors as they’re up to international standards. They were fabricated at the Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) Semi-Conductor Laboratory in Chandigarh, making it the first RISC V processor completely designed and made in India.
According to the statement, another important part of the Shakti microprocessor is that it’s less vulnerable to systems infected with backdoors and hardware Trojans. Because of that, IIT Madras says it’s safe to be adopted by government agencies, nuclear power plants, and even defense groups.
“With the advent of Digital India, there are several applications that require customizable processor cores,” lead researcher Prof Kamakoti Veezhinathan said at the announcement. “The 180nm fabrication facility at SCL Chandigarh is crucial in getting these cores manufactured within our country.”
The Shakti processors allow for various clock speeds to suit the different needs of end-user devices, and also has low power modes ideal for IoT gadgets and wireless networking systems. The entire development project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. And in truth, Shakti could help reduce our reliance on imported processors.