The Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor (DIR-V) Program was launched by Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) in New Delhi, Delhi.
- Its ultimate purpose is to allow the development of next generation microprocessors in India and around the world, with the goal of achieving commercial silicon and design wins by December 2023.
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras Director Professor V. Kamakoti has been named Chief Architect of the DIR-V programme, while Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) Trivandrum (Kerala) Scientist Krishnakumar Rao has been named Program Manager.
- The Minister unveiled the blueprint for the DIR-V Program’s design and implementation, as well as a strategic roadmap for India’s semiconductor design and innovation to help catalyse the semiconductor ecosystem.
i.It is launched as one of the key initiatives toward realising the goal of self-sufficiency and a significant step toward “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (Self-Reliant India).
ii.Under the DIR-V Programme, the government has set a goal of commercialising the first indigenous chipsets by 2023-24.
- The programme intends to develop future generations of microprocessors to meet India’s strategic priorities of mobility, computing, and digitization.
- The programme will bring together startups, academia, and multinationals to make India not only a global RISC-V talent hub, but also a supplier of RISC-V SoC (System on Chips) for servers, mobile devices, automotive, IoT(Internet of Things) and microcontrollers.
NOTE: India is planning to join RISC-V International, a global non-profit association based in Switzerland, as Premiere Board Member through MeitY to collaborate, contribute and advocate for India’s expertise with the world’s RISC-V leaders.
About the Digital India RISC-V Microprocessor (DIR-V) Program:
i.According to the Government of India’s (GoI) vision statement, India will use semiconductors worth USD 70-80 billion to manufacture electronic devices worth USD 300 billion by 2026.
ii.The DIR-V initiative is part of the GoI’s Semicon India programme, which has a budget of Rs. 76,000 crores to improve India’s semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem.
iii.Vedanta Foxconn JV, IGSS Ventures, and ISMC have planned to establish electronic chip manufacturing units with a USD 13.6 billion investment and have requested USD 5.6 billion from the Indian government to help expand the semiconductor and display manufacturing ecosystem in India.
Note: India Semiconductor Mission (ISM) has been set up to formulate and drive India’s long-term strategies for developing semiconductors and display manufacturing facilities and semiconductor design ecosystem.
Indigenous Microprocessors: SHAKTI & VEGA
i.The IIT Madras and the C-DAC have indigenously developed two Open-Source Architecture microprocessors named SHAKTI (32 bit) and VEGA (64 bit) respectively, under the purview of the MeitY’s Microprocessor Development Programme.
- This first set of commercial silicon SHAKTI and VEGA microprocessors are expected to be available for incorporation by December 2023 or early 2024.
About Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY):
Union Minister – Ashwini Vaishnaw (Rajya Sabha – Odisha)
Minister of State (MoS) – Rajeev Chandrasekhar (Rajya Sabha – Karnataka)
Attached Offices of MeitY – National Informatics Centre (NIC); Standardisation, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) Directorate.