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The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay on Tuesday announced a strategic partnership with IT services major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to develop India’s first Quantum Diamond microchip imager — an advanced sensing tool to test the quality of semiconductor chips.

The new sensing tool, to be built at IIT Bombay PQuest Lab by experts from TCS in the next two years, will help reduce chances of chip failures and improve efficiency of electronic devices. It will enable better quality control of semiconductor chips, thereby improving product reliability, safety, and energy efficiency of electrical devices.

“PQuest group at IIT Bombay is excited to collaborate with TCS on developing a quantum imaging platform for the nondestructive examination of chips, leveraging our extensive 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,” said Dr. Kasturi Saha, Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Bombay.

The collaboration between TCS and IIT Bombay is aligned with the National Quantum Mission — an initiative by the government to position the nation as a global quantum technology leader.

An indigenous Quantum Diamond microchip imager that integrates quantum diamond microscopy with AI/ML-powered software imaging will help India leap ahead in the quantum revolution.

“The Second Quantum revolution is progressing at an unprecedented speed, making it imperative to pool our resources and expertise to build cutting-edge capabilities in sensing, computing, and communication technologies,” said Harrick Vin, Chief Technology Officer, TCS.

As semiconductors continue to shrink in size, traditional sensing methods lack the precision and capabilities to detect anomalies in the chips.

The Quantum Diamond microchip 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.It will have wide applications in microelectronics, biological, and geological imaging, and fine-scale imaging of magnetic fields, among others.