The  ₹4,500 crore supercomputing mission is being jointly implemented by DST and the ministry of electronics and information technology. (Bloomberg)
The 4,500 crore supercomputing mission is being jointly implemented by DST and the ministry of electronics and information technology. (Bloomberg)

In a boost to research in India, two more supercomputers to be functional soon

  • A total of six supercomputers are to be installed in the first phase of the National Supercomputing Mission, of which three have been installed
  • These high-performance machines can crunch the most complex of data at a speed which is millions of times faster than a desktop PC

NEW DELHI : Two more supercomputers, set to be functional in the coming days, will power India’s research and development projects, as the first phase of the country’s National Supercomputing Mission gets underway.

The supercomputers, being installed at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune, are expected to be functional within the next few days.

“We may have missed the bus in micro-electronics, but our core strength lies in design and integration. These computers are all indigenously designed as part of ‘Make in India’. They are not only going to power our research in various domains, but would address several national security concerns," said Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, department of science and technology.

A total of six supercomputers are to be installed in the first phase of the National Supercomputing Mission, of which three have been installed, and rest will be installed at IIT Kanpur, IIT Hyderabad, and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Studies (JNIAS) by December.

The first one--Param-Shivay--equipped with a peak computing power of 837 Teraflops was set up in IIT Varanasi in February. The second phase of the mission that begins next year would witness installation of ten more such high performing computers.

The 4,500 crore supercomputing mission is being jointly implemented by DST and the ministry of electronics and information technology and led by C-DAC and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru. The target is to set up over 60 high performance computers in the country by 2022.

Unlike other computers, these high-performance machines can crunch the most complex of data at a speed which is millions of times faster than a desktop PC. Their capabilities are measured in Floating Point Operations Per Second (FLOPS), unlike other modern computers which are measured in Million Instructions Per Second (MIPS).

“They would help improve weather services, disaster management, ensure faster processing of data, support computational biology, flood control and aid research in various disciplines. As many as 3,000 people have already been trained to use them and it includes people from across disciplines, including Chemistry, Physics, Biology, computer programming," said Milind Kulkarni, a senior scientist at DST.

“So wherever they have been installed, they would be connected to all other institutions through the National Knowledge Network. So, if your university is part of the network, then anyone sitting on a desktop can make use of it, by seeking time to do the related high computing work," said Kulkarni.

Of the total 2,800 crore, DST has so far received 409 crores under the mission. About 1,700 crore has been allocated to the ministry of electronics and information technology.

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