C-DAC Builds India’s First Desi Chip That Can Be Used In A Range Of Applications

This electronics research company C-DAC has been in the news for developing India’s first home-grown chip that can be used for different applications. Known for leading the build part of Make in India campaign, C-DAC, India’s leading electronics research organisation has now announced the first indigenous chip that can be used in a range of applications.

The First Chip

The fastest computer in the world has a computing power of 143.5 petaflops or 1000 million million calculations per second. These petascale systems are considered to be very powerful. But the next milestone in computing achievement is the exascale computing. Exascale computing is the systems that have one xaflops, or one billion billion calculations per second, which is a much higher performance in computing than the fastest supercomputer.

C-DAC is involved in designing these exascale computing systems as well as India’s first chip. According to Hemant Darbari, director general of C-DAC, the research team is working towards having a viable architecture for exascale computing ready by the year 2022. The purpose of building a home-grown chip was to facilitate homegrown solutions for a range of applications.

Other Initiatives By C-DAC

C-DAC has developed India’s first 64-bit quad-core microprocessor and is working on a range of processors for image processing and smart energy meters. It is also involved in designing systems and applications in the areas of AI, language computing, IoT and secure computing. It works in and around the area of electronics, speech and NLP, cyber security, geonomics, digital forensics, bioinformatics and grid computing. It is also involved in developing a range of applications that uses blockchain. Another project deals with the use of wireless sensors to send personalised tips such as information on pests, plant disease and irrigation schedules, to farmers.

How Will Having Our Own Chip Help The Country

We need these chips in plenty of everyday technology. These chips are also a source of danger, especially in terms of security. Data Security is one of the greatest concerns in the world and so having a home-grown chip would help in terms of security. It is a common misconception that hardware chips, since they have a microprocessor can be programmed to follow instructions embedded in it, are not prone to security threats and that they cannot be hacked. But despite the instructions being embedded in them, hackers can and have manipulated the chips and caused a threat. Also, the hardware does need a programming or software code to make it work; it cannot function on its own. This is where the data security problem arises.

Manufacturing an integrated chip involves huge amounts of money to design a microprocessor and then build a plant that needs to be upgraded regularly by spending more money. This makes it difficult for many in microprocessor manufacturing business to design and create a research environment around it. Having a homegrown microprocessor would also help to curb this problem of expense.

According to a research, nearly every computer chip manufactured in the last 20 years contained fundamental security flaws, with specific variations on those flaws being dubbed Spectre and Meltdown. The flaws arise from features built into chips that help them run faster. Using these vulnerabilities, anyone can steal user data from such systems or devices.

Looking Forward

With these efforts the country will sure have a tremendous amount of advantage and deliver secure-proof solutions with the secure chips. Government applications will be even more secure and we will be less prone to hardware hacks.

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