IIT-B partners with TCS to build India's first quantum diamond microchip imager

IIT Bombay on Tuesday said it has partnered with the country's largest IT services player TCS to build India's first quantum diamond microchip imager.
Quantum diamond microchip imager - TCS & IIT B venture
Quantum diamond microchip imager - TCS & IIT B venture

Mumbai | IIT Bombay on Tuesday said it has partnered with the country's largest IT services player TCS to build India's first quantum diamond microchip imager.

A quantum diamond microchip imager can image magnetic fields, enabling a non-invasive and non-destructive mapping of semiconductor chips, much like an MRI at a hospital, an official statement said, adding that this technology is imperative given the challenges to detect anomalies posed by traditional sensing methods due to the shrinking size of semiconductors.

An indigenous quantum diamond microchip imager that integrates quantum diamond microscopy with artificial intelligence/machine learning-powered software imaging will help India leap ahead in the quantum revolution, it said.

This will be an advanced sensing tool that holds the potential to unlock new levels of precision in the examination of semiconductor chips, reduce chip failures and improve the energy efficiency of electronic devices, the statement added.

Semiconductor chips are present in all modern electronic devices, and the two partners' work over the next two years is aimed at making the devices more reliable, safe and energy efficient, it said. With the ability to process data and complete tasks, the chips act as the brain of devices across industries such as communications, computing, healthcare, military systems, transportation and clean energy, among others, according to the statement.

Experts from TCS will work with Kasturi Saha, an associate professor at the premier technology institute, to develop the quantum imaging platform in the PQuest Lab.

Saha said the two partners will work on a quantum imaging platform for the non-destructive examination of chips, leveraging its expertise in quantum sensing to drive innovation.

"By working together, we aim to transform various sectors, including electronics and healthcare, and propel India forward through groundbreaking technologies and products aligned with National Quantum Mission's Quantum Sensing and Metrology vertical," he added.

TCS's chief technology officer Harrick Vin said the 'Second Quantum Revolution' is progressing at an unprecedented speed, making it imperative to pool resources and expertise to build cutting-edge capabilities in sensing, computing, and communication technologies.

"We firmly believe this initiative will have a transformative impact on various industries and society, with applications ranging from electronics to healthcare, and beyond," Vin added.

TCS and IIT-B have collaborated for various initiatives since the 1990s, the statement said, explaining that the imager uses the defects in a diamond's structure, known as Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) centres, together with the other hardware and software for detecting and characterising anomalies in semiconductor chips.

"These diagnostic capabilities will have significant implications for failure analysis, device development, and various optimisation processes. With its advanced capabilities to identify chip defects such as current leakages and enable visualisation of three-dimensional charge flow in multi-layer chips, quantum diamond microchip imager is a leap forward in semiconductor imaging," it said.

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