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India’s first processor ‘Shakti’


Funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Shakti SDK has been released to the public. The team has currently listed a set of three ‘base’ processors - E-class, C-class and I-class; three ‘Multi-Core’ processors - M-class, S-class and H-class; and two experimental processors - T-class and F-class.



Funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, the Shakti SDK has been released to the public on Gitlab since the processor itself is a result of an open source project. 

Shakti has been developed by the RISE group at IIT-Madras who are also building associated components like interconnect fabrics, verification tools, storage controllers, peripheral IPs and SOC tools to go with the main chipset. The team has plans to release a family of 6 processors, based on the RISC-V ISA, each serving different purposes. 


RISE has currently listed a set of three ‘base’ processors - E-class, C-class and I-class; three ‘Multi-Core’ processors - M-class, S-class and H-class; and two experimental processors - T-class and F-class. 


The E-class (or embedded class) processor is aimed at low-power and low compute applications for smart-cards, IoT sensors, motor-controls and robotic platforms. The C-class (or controller class) processors are mid-range applications in the 0.5-1.5 GHz range. The I-class processors are performance oriented with an operating range of 1.5-2.5 GHz, targeted at the computer, mobile, storage and networking.


Shakti’s M-class processors come with a maximum of 8 cores, incorporating both C-class and I-class cores. S-Class is aimed at Workstation and Enterprise server workloads while the H-class are aimed at highly parallel enterprise, HPC and analytics workloads.


The experimental T Class processors are being developed for object level security while the F-class will be fault tolerant versions of the base processors.


The institute has also promised that the development board will soon be released. The RISE group at IIT Madras had started working on the Shakti project in the year 2016 with a plan to release a family of six classes of processors, each serving a different market. Also, the group has promised that the reference processors will be competitive with commercial offerings in terms of area, performance and power consumption.

The six classes of processors include E-Class, C-Class, I-Class, M-Class, S-Class, and H-Class. The E class is a 3-stage in-order processor targeted at embedded devices such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, robotic platforms, motor controls, et cetera.

The C class is a 32-bit 5 stage in-order microcontroller-class of processors supporting 0.2-1 GHz clock speeds. It’s aimed at mid-range application workloads and has a very low power profile, along with optional memory protection. the I class 64-bit out-of-order processors support 1.5-2.5 GHz clock speeds and support for multi-threading. It targets mobile, storage and networking applications. As for the M class processor, the M stands for multi-core and supports up to eight CPU cores.

The S class processors are aimed at the workstation and server-type workloads. It’s an enhanced version of the I class processor that features multi-threading support. The H class processor is for the high-performance computing and analytics workloads.

Its primary features include high single-thread performance, optional L4 cache, as well as support for Gen-Z fabric and storage-class memory. As per the reports, the RISE group is also working on two new experimental classes of processors — T-class and F-class.


A report also suggests that RISE group is also working on two new classes of processors which will be called as T-class and F-class.


If you want to learn more see this link for reference : https://gitlab.com/shaktiproject/software/shakti-sdk



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