On March 7, 2022, a Made in India Petascale Supercomputer ‘PARAM Ganga’ with a supercomputing capacity of 1.66 Petaflops (Peta Floating-Point Operations Per Second) has been installed at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Roorkee, Uttarakhand.
- This national Supercomputing Facility was inaugurated by B.V.R. Mohan Reddy, Chairman, Board of Governors, IIT Roorkee.
- PARAM Ganga designed and commissioned by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) under Phase 2 of the build approach of National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
This establishment is backed by the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by IIT Roorkee with C-DAC for the development of supercomputer involving critical components such as motherboards for servers, direct contact liquid cooling data centres, among others.
About National Supercomputing Mission (NSM):
Announced in2015, it is a joint initiative by the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY), and the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and is implemented by C-DAC and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru (Karnataka). Its estimated cost is Rs 4500 crore over a period of seven years (2015-2022).
It aims to deploy 24 facilities with a combined computing power of more than 64 petaFLOPS.
- As of now, C-DAC has deployed 11 such systems at IISCs, IITs, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) in Pune (Maharashtra), the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru, and the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI) in Mohali, Punjab.
- These have a cumulative power of 20 Petaflops.
What are petaFLOPS?
The computing power of supercomputers is measured in floating-point operations per second or FLOPS. One petaFLOP is equal to 1,000,000,000,000,000 (one quadrillion) FLOPS, or one thousand teraFLOPS or 2 to the 50th power FLOPS.
4 Major Pillars of NSM:
NSM has four major pillars viz. Infrastructure, Applications, R&D (Research & Development), and HRD (Human Resource Development). Some of the large-scale applications being developed under NSM include the following.
- NSM Platform for Genomics and Drug Discovery.
- Urban Modelling: Science Based Decision Support Framework to Address Urban Environment Issues (Meteorology, Hydrology, Air Quality).
- Flood Early Warning and Prediction System for River Basins of India.
- HPC Software Suite for Seismic Imaging to aid Oil and Gas Exploration.
- MPPLAB: Telecom Network Optimization.
Features of PARAM Ganga:
i.Its components, and software stack are manufactured and assembled within India only.
ii.It It is a new High-Performance Computational (HPC) facility which will accelerate R&D activities in multidisciplinary domains of science and engineering, to solve complex problems of national importance and global significance.
iii.It also provides computational power to the user community of IIT Roorkee and neighbouring academic institutions.
Points to be noted:
i.Supercomputers and Quantum computers can boost research by several years by providing millions of times more computing power than an ordinary computer.
ii.C-DAC is a designer and developer of a computer server ‘Rudra’ and high-speed interconnect ‘Trinetra’ which are the major sub-assemblies required for supercomputers.
iii.The world’s fastest supercomputer, Fugaku, which is located at RIKEN Center for Computational Science in Kobe, Japan, has a computing speed of 415.5 petaFLOPS.
iv.India currently has three supercomputers in the Top500 list of most powerful supercomputers in the world as of November 2021:
- Atos-built PARAM Siddhi-AI, installed in 2018 at C-DAC Pune (4.6 Linpack petaflops, Ranked 102)
- The Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology’s (IITM) supercomputer, called Pratyush (3.8 Linpack petaflops), is ranked 121.
- The Noida (Uttar Pradesh) based National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting’s (NCMRWF) Mihir (2.6 Linpack petaflops) supercomputer is 228th on the list.
- Pratyush and Mihir are both used for weather forecasting and for studying climate change.
Recent Related News:
Meta’s (erstwhile Facebook) CEO (Chief Executive Officer) Mark Zuckerberg has announced the development of an AI (Artificial Intelligence) supercomputer i.e AI Research SuperCluster (RSC) to train machine learning systems across company’s businesses. It will be the world’s fastest supercomputer once it is completed later in 2022.
About Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC):
Parent Ministry– Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY)
Director General– Col. AK Nath
Headquarter- Pune, Maharashtra