India Sci-Tech
Indian microchip for Big Bang research in Geneva
Mar 20, 2007 - 2:49:06 PM

Kolkata, March 20 - A premier nuclear physics institute here has come up with India's first indigenously designed microchip that will facilitate research on the Big Bang theory in Geneva's CERN, the world's largest particle physics laboratory.

Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics' - invention, a product of collaborative research with Semiconductor Complex Ltd of Chandigarh and Aligarh Muslim University, will not only help the global research taking place at CERN but also benefit common people in several medical and non-medical services.

'The microchip, Multiplexed ANAlog Signal - processor, can be used to detect the smallest tumours which, sometimes, cannot be detected by MRI or CAT scan. Since it's a heavily powerful imaging device it can also detect tissue tumours,' Sukalyan Chattopadhyay, project head of MANAS at SINP, told IANS on the sidelines of a press conference.

'Its cost of manufacturing is only $10. So it will not only give accurate results to detect cancerous tumours but would also bring down scanning expenses.'

He said this chip would also help in airport scanning as it can capture digital images of the smallest particles located inside any object.

Bikash Sinha, director of SINP, said this microchip would help scientists find out from where the particles are coming and where they are going.

'With this we can learn about the evolution of earth till date,' Sinha said, adding this was the first step towards indigenous chip development in India.

The MANAS processor has been internationally accepted as the best possible imaging device. It has 16 channels and 10,000 transistors in it. It can also take 1,000 images in a single second. It will be used at CERN in Geneva to study what exactly happened one microsecond after the Big Bang.

This chip has already been sent to Singapore, France, Italy and Russia for tests.

Current understanding says the universe was created about 14 billion years ago when the Big Bang created space and time. In physical cosmology, the Big Bang is the scientific theory that the universe emerged from a tremendously dense and hot state billions of years ago.

'We want this chip to be used for the betterment of people in several medical and non-medical services. But for that there should be an industry to take up this technology. Till now no one has come to use this technology in medical or non-medical sectors,' said Chattopadhyay.

He said if any company showed interest, SINP was hopeful of sharing the technology of this imaging device for the benefit of common people.

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