Tatas’ supercomputer is world’s 4th fastest

Tatas’ supercomputer is world’s 4th fastest

A supercomputer developed by Computational Research Laboratories (CRL), a subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd, at a cost of $30 million (Rs118.11 crore) has been ranked the fourth fastest in the world by Top500, a project that ranks world’s 500 most powerful computers.

Eka, the supercomputer, is also ranked the fastest computer in Asia, and is based on a Hewlett-Packard Co. system.

This is the first time that an Indian supercomputer has been ranked among the top 10 in this list.

Eka has benchmark performance of 120 teraflops (trillion floating point calculations or those involving numbers with a floating or decimal point). International Business Machines Corp.’s (IBM) super computer Blue Gene/L, installed in the US, ranked first in the list with a benchmark performance of 478.2 teraflops.

CRL develops applications in areas such as neural simulation, molecular simulation, computational fluid dynamics, crash simulation and digital media animation and rendering.

“The company can make the facility available to others on the franchise basis," said S. Ramadorai, chairman, CRL, and CEO of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd.

He did not comment on the number of clients the company expects to sign on in the current fiscal year. “It is too early to say that," he said.

Governments and companies worldwide are building faster computers to handle scientific and industrial simulations, such as testing new drug designs or the strength of materials for cars and planes.

“There’s a correlation to the rise of global economies," said David Turek, IBM’s vice-president for supercomputing. “Five years ago, you didn’t see the economic vibrancy of Asia, or leaders in Europe using supercomputers to enhance their economic competitiveness."

The supercomputer rankings are compiled by Hans Meuer of the University of Mannheim, Germany; Erich Strohmaier and Horst Simon of NERSC/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Jack Dongarra of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Bloomberg’s Mathew Miller contributed to this story.