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Indian Institute of Technology Develops Semiconductor Chip for IoMT

A team at the Indian Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar (IIT-Bhubaneswar) has designed and developed low-power semiconductor chips that can be used in audio applications of electronic devices. The team developed an ultra-low power data conversion integrated circuit (IC) for energy-efficient biomedical data transmission. It targets Internet of things (IoT)-based sensing, monitoring, and wireless devices.

These ICs were built with support from the Special Manpower Development Programme for Chips to System Design (SMDP-C2SD), under the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY). It was fabricated at the Semi-Conductor Laboratory (SCL) in Mohali.

According to a report, the semiconductor chips were indigenously developed by the institution. The ultra-low-power Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) data conversion IC, which will help in energy-efficient secured biomedical data transmission via the Internet of medical things (IoMT) and wearable body area networks (WBANs) to edge or cloud computing devices. Biomedical data transmission is the process of wireless transmission of data related to health to remotely monitoring patients through wearable or non-wearable devices. The IoMT is a collection of medical devices and applications that connect to healthcare IT systems through online computer networks. Medical devices equipped with Wi-Fi allow machine-to-machine communication, forming the basis of IoMT.

As the challenge of extending the battery life persists, the creation of innovative low-power application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) is significant. IIT-Bhubaneswar research teams have been working on designing low-power ICs. A statement from the institute explained that efforts towards the raising of research teams, and developing technologies started yielding results, and the first batch of IC’s have been successfully fabricated. Another team has designed and developed a digitally intensive sub-sampling short-range low-power RF front-end IC targeting IoT applications. This chip, which includes several design innovations, is being fabricated at a semiconductor manufacturing company in Taiwan.

The Director of IIT-Bhubaneswar stated that they have been working on this semiconductor chip project for the last four years. “Many firms in Odisha had tried to design these semiconductor chips, but they did not succeed. There was not much expertise available locally then. Now IIT-Bhubaneswar has come up with a new product. This semiconductor chip production activity will get a boost. We will share our expertise with the industries in this matter,” he added.

The Union cabinet’s approval of an IN 760 billion (around US$10 billion) investment in the area of IC technology will open up opportunities for chip designing and manufacturing towards finding cost-effective solutions in health, defence-security, consumer electronics, communication, automobiles, environments, and job creation, the IIT-Bhubaneswar statement read. The multi-billion-dollar investment will go towards setting up over 20 semiconductor designs, components manufacturing, and display fabrication (fab) units over the next six years.

Through various PLI (production linked incentive) schemes, the centre has tried to broaden the scope of manufacturing and export from India while the investment in semiconductor development will help deepen India’s manufacturing base. As OpenGov Asia reported earlier, the government plans to establish one to two fab units for displays and ten units each for designing and manufacturing components.

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