India is set to develop its first 64-bit CPU based on the RISC-V instruction set. The project is the country’s second attempt at designing a RISC-V CPU, following the Shakti designs in the works at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Madras. The design targets variants for a wide range of public and private customers including tablets or gateways for the Internet of Things.
Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) could develop a 64-bit RISC-V processor in about 30 months with a team of about 70 engineers, according to Biju C. Oommen, a senior manager in C-DAC’s chip design unit. The R&D division is expected to receive about US$ 45 million funding for the project before June.
CDAC, a branch of India’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, was created in 1988 to develop supercomputers after the United States banned export of the systems to India and expanded to cover a wide variety of high tech projects.
The VLSI team, with an expertise to design a wide variety of 8 to 32-bit processors and SoC blocks, targets to design a quad-core processor which runs at up to 2GHz. Oommen says that this is the most sophisticated processor they are going to design to date.
To cater to the demands of government and commercial users, the designers have worked on a variety of ICs from energy metering to a digital programmable hearing aid and an automotive controller.