A complete list of Indian PARAM supercomputers

Supercomputing in India started in 1980 when the Indian government set up an indigenous development program as there were several problems in procuring supercomputers from abroad. National Aerospace Laboratories initiated the “Flosolver MK1” project, a parallel processing system operating in December 1986. Following this, several projects were commissioned from different organizations, including C-DAC, C-DOT, NAL, BARC and ANURAG. C-DOT created “CHIPPS”, the C-DOT high-performance parallel processing system, and BARC created the Anupam series of supercomputers. ANURAG created the PACE series of supercomputers.

Although the C-DAC mission released the “PARAM” series of the supercomputer, it was not until 2015 that the launch of the National Super Computing Mission revived India’s supercomputers. NSM has announced a seven-year program worth Rs 4,500 crore to install 73 indigenous supercomputers by 2022. As of November 2020, PARAM Siddhi-AI is the fastest supercomputer in India and 63rd in the TOP500 list.

In November 1987, the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) was allocated a three-year budget of Rs 375 million to create 1000Mflops (1Gflops) supercomputers. The “PARAM” (short for Parallel Machine) supercomputer series was unveiled in three C-DAC missions.

PARAM 8000

The PARAM 8000 was the first machine built from scratch; this 64-node machine was unveiled in August 1991. Each node used Inmos T800/T805 transputers; this 256-knot machine had a theoretical performance of 1Gflops; however, in practice it only has around 100-200 Mflops.

PARAM 8000 was created on a distributed memory MIMD architecture with a reconfigurable interconnect network.

PARAM 8600

The PARAM 8600 was an improved version of the PARAM 8000 unveiled in 1992. C-DAC wanted to integrate the Intel i860 processor to add more power. Each 8600 cluster was as powerful as 4 PARAM 8000 clusters.

PARAM 9000

The PARAM 9000 was first introduced in 1994, designed to merge cluster processing and massively parallel processing computing workloads. This system used 32 to 40 processors and scaled up to 200 processors using the Clos network topology. The PARAM 9000/SS was the variant of the SuperSPARC II processor; the PARAM 9000/US used the UltraSPARC processor and the PARAM 9000/AA used the DEC Alpha.

PARAM 10000

The PARAM 10000 was unveiled in 1998. This supercomputer had independent nodes, each based on the Sun Enterprise 250 server; each server contained two 400 MHz UltraSPARC II processors. The maximum speed of this system was 6.4 Gflops. This would contain 160 processors and be capable of 100 Gflops, easily scalable to the Tflop range.

PARAM Padma

PARAM Padma was introduced in December 2002. The first Indian supercomputer to enter the list of top 500 supercomputers in the world, it ranked 171 in June 2003. PARAM Padma had a top speed of 1024 Gflops (about 1 Tflops) . The machine used IBM POWER4 processors.

PARAM Youva

PARAM Yuva was unveiled in November 2008 and ranked 69 in the World’s Top 500 Supercomputers list. This supercomputer has a maximum sustainable speed (Rmax) of 38.1 Tflops and a maximum speed (Rpeak) of 54 Tflops. It had a storage capacity of 25 TB up to 200 TB and used PARAMNet-3 as the main interconnect.

Param Yuva II

PARAM Yuva II was unveiled in February 2013. It was created in three months at a cost of ₹160 million. It reached a peak of 524 Tflops, about ten times faster than the current installation, and will consume 35% less energy than the existing installation. According to CDAC, the supercomputer can deliver a sustained performance of 360.8 Tflops on the LINPACK community benchmark. This Indian supercomputer was to reach more than 500 teraflops.

PARAM ISHAN

PARAM-ISHAN was unveiled in September 2016 as a hybrid HPC with a capacity of 250 teraflops at IIT Guwahati. It has 162 compute nodes with 300TB of storage based on a brilliant parallel file system.

PARAM Brahma

This supercomputer had a computing power of 850 teraflops with a storage capacity of 1 petabyte. It was built in India under the National Supercomputing Mission, co-funded by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and the Department of Science and Technology, where C-DAC and IISc led this mission. ‘PARAM Brahma’ is backed by a unique cooling system called direct contact liquid available in India. This cooling system effectively uses the thermal conductivity of liquids, namely water, to maintain system temperature during operations. As of 2020, this supercomputer is available at IISER Pune.

PARAM Siddhi-AI

PARAM Siddhi-AI is a High Performance Computing Artificial Intelligence (HPC-AI) and by far the fastest supercomputer developed in India with an Rpeak of 5.267 Pflops and 4.6 Pflops Rmax (Sustain). AI helps research in advanced materials, computational chemistry and astrophysics, health system, flood forecasting and Covid-19 application through faster simulations, medical imaging and sequencing of the genome. In November 2020, PARAM Siddhi-AI ranked 63 among the most powerful supercomputers in the world. This supercomputer is built on NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD reference architecture networking and HPC-AI engine, software frameworks and cloud platform developed locally by C-DAC.

Supercomputers as part of the National Supercomputing Mission

PARAM Shivay

PARAM Shivay was a high performance computing cluster with a capacity of 833 teraflops built at a cost of Rs 32.5 crore under the NSM at IIT-BHU. The PARAM Shivay supercomputer uses more than one lakh twenty thousand computing cores (CPU + GPU cores) to deliver a maximum computing power of 833 teraflops. PARAM Shivay was the first locally assembled supercomputer at IIT (BHU), followed by PARAM Shakti, PARAM Brahma, PARAM Yukti and PARAM Sanganak at IIT-Kharagpur IISER, Pune, JNCASR, Bengaluru and IIT Kanpur respectively.

PARAM Sanganak

PARAM Sanganak was established at IIT Kanpur under the build approach under the NSM with a maximum computing power of 1.3 petaflops.

PARAM Pravega

PARAM Pravega is a supercomputer installed under NSM at the Indian Institute of Science in January 2022. It runs on CentOS 7.x, has 4 petabytes of storage and a maximum computing power of 3.3 petaflops. Param Pravega is part of the class of high performance computing systems, is a mix of heterogeneous nodes, with Intel Xeon Cascade Lake processors for the CPU nodes and NVIDIA Tesla V100 cards on the GPU nodes. This machine hosts a range of program development tools, utilities and libraries for developing and running high performance computing (HPC) applications.

IISC Bengaluru already has a state-of-the-art supercomputing facility established several years ago. In 2015, the Institute purchased and installed SahasraT, which was the fastest supercomputer in the country.

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