Science and Technology Current Affairs – 2018
Latest Science & Technology Current Affairs 2015-2016; current developments in Science and Technology 2015-2016 all important national / international updates in science and tech and events for the year 2015-2016.
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The researchers from Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) have designed India’s first indigenous microprocessor called ‘Shakti’. It is aimed at developing industrial-grade microprocessors and other components of the microprocessor ecosystem. It will also help to reduce dependency on imported microchips and risk of cyber-attacks.
Microprocessors are brain of all computing and electronic devices and are used to operate larger high-speed systems and supercomputers.
It was designed, developed and booted by IIT Madras with microchip fabricated in ISRO’s Semi-Conductor Laboratory at Chandigarh. It has been developed under project partly funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), as part of two-decade-old efforts to develop indigenous microprocessors.
Its design originates from open source instruction set architecture (ISA), a set of basic instructions called RISC V, which makes it customisable to any device. ISA is programming or machine language and provides commands to processor instructing it on functions to be executed. RISC-V is open, free ISA which enables new era of processor innovation through open standard collaboration. It delivers new level of free, extensible software and hardware freedom on architecture.
It will reduce dependency on imported microchips especially in communication and defence sectors and thus eliminate risk of cyber-attacks. It can be used in mobile computing, wireless and networking systems. It may also provide power to mobile phones, smart meters and surveillance cameras.
IIT M researchers are now conducting research on ‘Parashakti’, an advanced microprocessor for supercomputers. It will be super scaler processor that will be ready by December 2018. It will have its applications in desktops and 32 such interconnected microprocessors may be used in supercomputers.
NASA has retired Kepler space telescope after it ran out of fuel needed for further science operations. This brings end of nine-and-a-half year mission of Kepler space telescope in which it had discovered over 2,600 intriguing exoplanets from outside our solar system some of which may harbour life.
Kepler space telescope
The unmanned space telescope was launched in 2009 on 3.5-year mission (from 2009 until November 2012), but operated for 9 years. It was NASA’s first planet-hunting mission. It was named after German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler. During its over nine years life, Kepler had observed 530,506 stars and detected 2,662 planets. It used transit photometry detection method for searching for exoplanet, which looked for periodic, repetitive dips in visible light of stars caused by planets passing or transiting in front in front of its host star. The telescope had suffered mechanical failure in 2013. But it was made functional by changing its field of view periodically. This had paved way for K2 mission.