With the installation of ‘Param Pravega’ – allegedly one of the most powerful supercomputers in the country – at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru earlier this month, India has now installed at least three supercomputers in scientific institutions across the country over the past three months as part of the government’s National Supercomputing Mission.
So far, ten supercomputers have been installed in ten institutes and five more are in the final stages, according to the science department.
The National Supercomputing Mission aims to indigenize the development and manufacture of powerful computers.
This year, another nine supercomputers are expected to be commissioned at IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Patna, IIT Delhi, IUAC (Inter University Accelerator Centre) Delhi, CDAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) Pune, SNBNCBS (SN Bose National Center for basic sciences) Kolkata, NCRA (National Center for Radio Astrophysics) Pune and NIC (National Center for Computing) Delhi.
The supercomputer installed at IISc has a computing capacity of 3.3 petaflops, beating the 1.6 petaflops computer at IIT Kharagpur.
Petaflops are a measure of the computational ability to add at least one quadrillion (1,000 trillion) real numbers in one second. This computing speed is equivalent to 5,000 to 6,000 high-end laptops working together.
The National Supercomputing Mission, in its three phases, plans to increase India’s supercomputing capacity to 45 petaflops, which will include three systems with 3 petaflops capacity and one system with 20 petaflops capacity.
Entering the third phase of the mission, the design and development of native server nodes, interconnect switch, storage and system software stack was initiated with 85% native manufacturing.
The mission has been planned in three phases with Phase I involving the assembly of supercomputers, Phase II involving the manufacture of some components in the country, and Phase III where a supercomputer is designed by India.
A locally developed server platform called “Rudra” is being tested in a pilot system, with an interconnect for communication between nodes called Trinetra also being developed.