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India’s Own Microprocessor 'Moushik' Is Here | Summachar

Sep 30, 2020 00:00 IST

Researchers at IIT Madras have developed an indegenious microprocessor that may soon become an integral part of Smart Cities of Digital India.

Moushik is a system on a chip conceptualised and developed by the Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems Engineering group at IIT Madras. It is a part of the SHAKTI project - the free and open source silicon project of IIT Madras. The IITM team designed the processor and Motherboard, whereas the foundry-specific backend design and fabrication was done at ISRO’s semiconductor labs in Chandigarh. Its motherboard, called “Ardonyx 1.0”, was made in Bengaluru, making this SoC truly a Made in India product.

Now what exactly is a System on Chip?
It is a chip that integrates most components of a computer like CPU, GPU, memory, input/output ports and secondary storage, in a single microchip of the size of a coin. It is generally used in appliances like mobile phones, wearable devices, and streaming sticks.

Moushik chip was made using 180-nanometer technology. It has 103 functional Input Output Ports, that are used by software to communicate with other hardware components. Its other notable features are: 1.8V Core Voltage, 3.3V IO Voltage, and a Gate Count of 647k. Moreover, its 100Mhz speed can cater to various small devices and home appliances.

The chip can be used in Credit cards, Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs), surveillance cameras, amongst other IoT Devices. The most impressive thing about this chip is that if there is an order for one million units, its cost can be reduced to even $1 per chip. India already has a demand for billions of such chips.

According to the developers, the Moushik chip and the Shakti group of processors are at par with the Industry standard. Indigenous brands and startups can use them in their products and minimize the usage of Imported system. It will also help in strategic sectors like defense, nuclear power installations and Government Agencies.