On October 26, 2018, researchers of IIT Madras designed and booted-up India’s first indigenously-developed and internationally competent ‘RISC V Microprocessor.’ The microprocessor is applicable to mobile computing devices, embedded low power wireless systems and networking systems besides reducing reliance on imported microprocessors in communications and defense sectors. Commenting on the significance of this development, lead researcher Prof. Kamakoti Veezhinathan, Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems Engineering (RISE) Laboratory, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras, stated, “With the advent of Digital India there are several applications that require customizable processor cores. The 180nm fabrication facility at SCL Chandigarh is crucial in getting these cores manufacturers within our country.”
The impact of this completely indigenous fabrication is that India has now attained independence in designing, developing and fabricating end-to-end systems within the country, leading to self-sufficiency. With a large percentage of applications requiring sub 200 MHz processors, the current success paves way to production of many hand-held and control application devices. The other crucial aspect of such an indigenous design, development and fabricating approach is reducing the risk of deploying systems that may be infected with back-doors and hardware Trojans. This development will assume huge significance when systems based on SHAKTI processors are adopted by strategic sectors such as defense, nuclear power installations and government agencies.