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IIT Madras to partner with digital firm Thales to design SHAKTI processors with highest Global Safety Critical Standard

Thales and IIT Madras to take up joint research programs in the areas such as aerospace, space, transportation, security and defence.

CHENNAI, 17 December 2018: Indian Institute of Technology Madras is partnering with Thales to design a SHAKTI RISC-V processor compatible with the highest Safety Critical standards. The collaboration will result in defining and prototyping a SHAKTI RISC-V based processor suitable for mix-criticality applications, including Safety Critical applications.

As a result of this tie up, a fault-tolerant SHAKTI framework would be developed and will undergo evaluation by the world’s top experts in Safety Critical Standards. Pursuant to their approval, it can be used in sensitive equipment used in defence, aerospace, space, and transportation sectors.

Thales and IIT Madras are going to take up joint research programs in many areas including aerospace, space, transportation, security and defence.

Thales, an international group, designs and builds electronic systems for aerospace, space, transportation, security and defence. Thales will draw on its expertise in the security and dependability of critical embedded systems to establish security best practices for hardware development. The ultimate objective is to improve the security and dependability of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, embedded systems and machine learning implementations.

IIT Madras Researchers had recently designed, fabricated and booted up India's first Indigenously-developed RISC V Microprocessor - ‘Shakti’. The Shakti family of processors are targeted for mobile computing devices, embedded low power wireless systems and networking systems besides reducing reliance on imported microprocessors in Communications and Defence Sectors. The Microprocessor can be used by others as it is on par with International Standards.

Speaking about the significance of this development, Lead Researcher Prof. Kamakoti Veezhinathan, Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems Engineering (RISE) Laboratory, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “After the two successful fabrication and booting of SHAKTI with two technology nodes, 22nm (Intel Fab, Orgeon USA) and 180nm (SCL Chandigarh fab, India), this tie-up with Thales is very exciting and certainly is a big step towards taking SHAKTI family to the global technology ecosystem.”

Further, Prof Kamakoti added, “With the advent of more and more safety critical systems adopting electronics hardware for intricate control and monitoring, fault-tolerance and security features are of prime importance in next generation processors. This tie-up with Thales, I am sure, will result in a detailed analysis of these features resulting in a framework that could be adopted for designing the next generation Shakti-based safety-critical systems.”

“By adopting an open approach to both hardware and software, this joint effort will create new opportunities for the design of mission-critical systems in all sectors, including aerospace, space, transportation, security and defence. With this, we look forward to taking our partnership, which was formed in March this year, to the next level” said Arnaud Samama, R&D computing manager, Thales Research & Technology.

The people we all rely on to make the world go round – they rely on Thales. Our customers come to us with big ambitions: to make life better, to keep us safer. Combining a unique diversity of expertise, talents and cultures, our architects design and deliver extraordinary high technology solutions. Solutions that make tomorrow possible, today. From the bottom of the oceans to the depths of space and cyberspace, we help our customers think smarter and act faster – mastering ever-greater complexity and every decisive moment along the way. With 65,000 employees in 56 countries, Thales reported sales of €15.8 billion in 2017.
Present in India since 1953, Thales is headquartered in New Delhi and has other operational offices and sites spread across Gurgaon, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai and Mumbai, among others. Over 600 employees are working with Thales and its joint ventures in India. Since the beginning, Thales has been playing an essential role in India’s growth story by sharing its technologies and expertise in Defence, Transport, Aerospace and Security markets.
About IITM
Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 by the Government of India as an institute of national importance. The activities of the Institute in various fields of Technology and Science are carried out in 16 academic departments and several advanced interdisciplinary Research Academic Centres. The Institute offers undergraduate and post - graduate programmes leading to the B.Tech. M.Sc., M.B.A., M.Tech., M.S., and Ph.D., degrees in a variety of specialisations. IITM is a residential institute with more than 580 faculty and 9,500 students. Students from 18 countries are enrolled here. IITM fosters an active entrepreneurial culture with strong curricular support and through the IITM Incubation Cell   
IITM has been ranked No.1 among Engineering Institutions in the India Rankings for three consecutive years – 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Institute was also ranked as the No.2 in the category of Overall Institutions in 2017 and 2018 Rankings, released by the National Institutional Ranking Framework, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Govt. of India-
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Pawandeep Kaur
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