STUDENTS OF Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay (IIT-Bombay), have developed ‘AJIT’, a microprocessor conceptualised, designed, developed and manufactured in India.
The innovation would not only reduce the country’s imports but also make India self-reliant in electronics, said Professor Manav Desai of the department of electrical engineering.
“AJIT marks the first time in the country’s history where industry, academia and the government have come together. Me and my team of nine researchers have designed the processor entirely at the institute. We made the chip of the microprocessor at the government-owned Semi-Conductor Laboratory in Chandigarh,” he added.
The project was funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and IIT-Bombay. Powai Labs, a Mumbai-based company, has also invested in the venture and will own and market the product.
Students C Arun, M Sharath, Neha Karanjkar, Piyush Soni, Titto Anbadan, Ashfaque Ahmed, Aswin Jith, CH Kalyani, Nanditha Rao assisted Desai in the project.
AJIT has been named after Desai’s friend and mentor, late Ajit Shelar. Akin to most microprocessors available today, AJIT comes with an arithmetic logic unit that can do basic arithmetic and logical operations like addition, subtraction and comparison, and a memory management unit that stores and retrieves data from memory.
Its features can be compared to many of the microprocessors available in the market. Unlike the ones used in desktops like the Intel’s Xeon, AJIT is a medium-sized processor. It can be used inside a set-top box, as a control panel for automation systems, in a traffic light controller or even robotic systems. “AJIT will cost as less as Rs 100 when it is produced en-masse, nearly 10 lakh units,” said Desai.
The plan is to introduce AJIT to the academia to expand its reach and provide graduating students a hands-on experience. “We could push the usage of this new microprocessor by introducing it as a part of the syllabus in engineering colleges,” Desai said, adding that a couple of industries have shown interest in the project.