The Union Ministry of Communications, Electronics and Information Technology has launched the “Swadeshi Microprocessor Challenge” under Aatmanirbhar Bharat to provide further impetus to the strong startup ecosystem, and drive innovation and research in the country.
According to a statement from the ministry, this initiative is aimed at not only meeting India’s future requirements of strategic and industrial sectors but also has the potential to mitigate the issues of security, licensing, technology obsolescence, and most crucially, cutting dependency on imports.
IIT Madras and Centre for Development of Advance Computing (CDAC) have developed two microprocessors named SHAKTI (32-bit) and VEGA (64-bit) respectively using Open Source Architecture under the aegis of Microprocessor Development Programme of Ministry of Electronics and IT.
The challenge will be open to students at all levels and startups, and it demands contestants to not only tinker with these Swadeshi Processor IPs and facilitate them with innovating the frugal solutions for societal needs, but also make available the entire home-grown ecosystem around Swadeshi Processors to develop the complex designs for catering to both global and domestic requirements in near future. According to the ministry, the design, development and fabrication of these state-of-the-art processor variants at foundry in the country and abroad, is a successful step to reaching to ultimate goal of vibrant ecosystem of Electronic System Design and manufacturing in the country.
The participants in this challenge will receive various incentives which include internship opportunities and technical guidance from leading VLSI and Electronics System Design experts. Besides, there will be financial assistance to the tune of Rs 4.30 crore given at various stages of the challenge for developing the hardware prototype. The challenge is spread over 10 months. It will start on August 18, 2020 and culminate in June 2021. The top 100 semi-finalists and 25 finalists will be receive cash award. The top 10 teams entering the final will get a seed fund of total Rs 2.30 crore and 12 months incubation support. The participants also stand a chance to facilitate their ideas onto the marketplace.
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