As part of the Centre’s cyber-security programme, researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are looking to develop indigenous hardware architecture to protect our networks, besides helping to achieve the Digital India dream through self-reliance. Among the two pathbreaking projects that were kicked off at IISc’s Centre for Nano Science and Engineering (CeNSE), one of them, supported by the office of the principal scientific adviser to the Centre, is the project aimed at making such architecture. Scientists claim this project is among the first global attempts at developing such architecture and comes under the Indian cyber-security programme, which aims to create indigenous hardware to protect our networks. Assistant professor at Binghamton University, Mr Aravind Prakash had told TOI at the Indian Science Congress that the need to indigenously protect data and systems that transfer and store such data is quintessential. The programme aspires to forge local knowledge and technology to build infrastructure that will adequately support the ever-increasing connectivity. As part of it, researchers will develop integrated photonic transceiver architectures that will enable communication speeds beyond 1 terabits per second per channel. Former scientific secretary to principal scientific adviser, Government of India, and professor at IIT-M, SV Raghavan said in a statement: “Photonic transceivers possess transmission technology related building blocks, starting from devices. The photonics integrated chip is the first step in that direction.” He added that this technology will enable substantial scaling of users using 4G and the upcoming 5G wireless technologies. The bulk components will be integrated onto a chip scale with very compact architectureProf Navakanta Bhat of CeNSE says: “India aims to take a leadership role by initiating research and technology development in the field of photonic integrated circuits, which will help achieve the dream of Digital India through self-reliance in both strategic and consumer sectors.” The other project at the Centre, being supported by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), seeks to develop indigenous technology for high-speed optical interconnect technology. Even this is pegged as a first attempt in India and researchers say it aims at developing photonics-assisted high-speed computing technology . DRDO has said in a statement that it aims to use Silicon Photonics technology for design and development of next generation multi-core processor with photonic interconnect. Currently data transfer in microprocessors is largely in the electrical domain, which means that it employs copper wires that incur signal losses, thereby reducing efficiency, and are not amenable to increasing the rate of transfer as rapidly as our computing needs require. The new developments will change this considerably .