AJIT is a Microprocessor Made in India

Orange Pi Development Boards

There are only a few countries with companies that can design and/or manufacture chips. Some of the ones that come to my mind off the bat include: the US, China, Taiwan, Japan, France, and Italy. But India did not… That’s until recently as IIT Bombay conceived AJIT the first Indian microprocessor, which was then manufactured at the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana states.

AJIT MicroProcessor Made-in-India
Click to Enlarge

Details are limited. For example, I’m unable to find out which architecture was used by the processor, but we do know it’s a microcontroller class 32-bit microprocessor clocked at 70 to 120 MHz with an arithmetic logic unit, a memory management unit, a floating point unit, as well as a hardware debugger unit.

The sample pictured above has been manufactured with a 180nm process, but they plan to move to a 65nm process eventually. Tools used for development include AHIR-V2 which has been released in Github. Some of the applications include set-top boxes (not as media chip obviously), control panels for automation systems, traffic light controllers or robotic systems. AJIT should cost around 100 rupees ($1.44) once mass production starts.

AJIT on a plate

It will take a while before the Indian semiconductor sector takes off (if it does), but at least they are building the talent pool, and over time this should allow India to become more independent for critical applications like military or utilities.

You’ll find more details on Reddit (1) and (2), and in an article published on Research Matters.

Via Hacker News

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TLS
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TLS

You forgot about Ireland, Israel, Korea, Singapore and Malaysia…
Full list here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_semiconductor_fabrication_plants

halfey
Guest

Having a fab is not the same as designing and developing a chip locally. You can setup a fab anywhere as long as you have the people to run it but when it comes to designing a chip independent from any existing ones, it’s completely a different matter. Not many countries have done or able to do that.

dgp
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dgp

>but when it comes to designing a chip independent from any existing ones,
>it’s completely a different matter. Not many countries have done or able to do that.

People from universities all over the world have designed simple (presumably, it only runs at 120MHz) chips like this in FPGAs for ages.

RK
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RK

Israel been in semiconductors since the 60s and have been known to do independent designs occasionally.

It’s also incorrect to say you can fab everywhere. Different fab processes favor different logic designs due to how the different silicon N/P layers are doped and set. So, the same logic design in two different fabs could vary in operating temperatures and maximum frequencies despite technically being on the same node. Sometimes the compilers solve this rather well. Sometimes you need to review the logic itself.

The reason we don’t notice this is because companies typically time their fab switch around node reductions so they’ll compensate for the more wasteful design with more transistors. It’s the whole tick tock thing…

Andrius Kurtinaitis
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Andrius Kurtinaitis

Isn’t ARM a British company?

dgp
Guest
dgp

ARM is owned by Softbank which is a Japanese company.

Andrius Kurtinaitis
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Andrius Kurtinaitis

Yes, the money is Japanese, but the chips are designed by Brits?

dgp
Guest
dgp

The money is probably mostly Saudi. The chip design might still be done in the UK but a company like that isn’t going to limit itself to local talent (especially when the UK isn’t interested in actually developing any) so they’ll be shipping people in from where ever. If ARM had strong ties to Britain and it was important to keep it that way the UK government wouldn’t have allowed it’s sale to a Japanese company that was holding some Saudi prince’s chequebook.

RK
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RK

I believe the Japanese ‎SoftBank bought them a while-back and then sold the control stakes of the Chinese subsidiary to an unknown Chinese national / group.

AMD’s x86 are in similar circumstances which is why RISC-V is suddenly looking so appealing to western companies.

TLS
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TLS

ARM has so far not made hardware. They make IP designs, which other companies then license from ARM.

eFfeM
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eFfeM

What about the Netherlands (NXP, formerly part of Philips).
And of course Dutch-founded ASML also comes in handy when producing high density chips 🙂

js0x0
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js0x0

ISA is SPARC V8

ifbut
Guest
ifbut

So it is made at 180nm, like the Shakti.

Deepesh
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Deepesh

India does have another CHIP programme names SHAKTI, see – https://shakti.org.in/ and if possible blog about it 🙂

ELBRUS
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ELBRUS

Hi guys.

eas
Guest

From digging through the Reddit AMA, the ISA is SPARC-V8