Computers: India

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The Param Supercomputer , India Today
Supercomputers and India, China and the world: 1993 and 2015; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, June 21, 2016
Top 10 states and UTs by % of computer users who can send emails; Graphic courtesy: The Times of India, April 26, 2016

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India’s first computer

India’s first computer
From: January 24, 2022: The Times of India

See graphic:

India’s first computer

Supercomputers and India

PARAM 8000: India’s first Supercomputer

India , A home-made , super-duper supercomputer 15/12/2016



A home-made, super-duper supercomputer

The PARAM supercomputer began its life as a result of a technology embargo that had been placed on India. As the story goes, in 1987, during a high-technology meet between India and the US, the then US president Ronald Reagan refused to sell to then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi the latest CRAY supercomputers being developed in America. Instead, the Indian premier was offered an outdated machine, and also warned against its use for any purposes other than weather forecasting. This was not without good reason-supercomputers are an essential step toward modern weapons systems. For example, the calculations required to construct an intercontinental ballistic missile cannot be performed on an ordinary computer; it would take far too long. In 1988, for the purposes of developing self-sufficiency in such matters, India established the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, or C-DAC, with Dr Vijay Bhatkar as director. With a deadline of three years, and a budget of around Rs 30 crore, PARAM 8000 was born in 1991.

Pune supercomputers among world’s fastest

Swati Shinde Gole TNN 2013/06/20

The Times of India

Pune: Two computers from Pune feature among the top 100 in the list of 500 fastest supercomputers in the world.

While the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) supercomputer stands 36th in the list, Param Yuva II, developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), has bagged the 69th position. The IITM supercomputer is yet to be installed while the Param Yuva II became operational this February.

The list of the world’s top 500 supercomputers was announced on Tuesday at the launch of the opening session of the International Supercomputing conference in Leipzig, Germany.

The Param Yuva II has a capacity of 524 teraflops and within three weeks of the launch, it was already running at 70% of its capacity. Precise weather forecasting, faster tapping of natural resources in the sea and designing of customized drugs are possible using Param Yuva II. The IITM supercomputer will start functioning in the next two to three months.

2016: India ranked 9th in global race for supercomputers

- India ranked 9th in global race of supercomputers Nov 28 2016 : The Times of India

What is a supercomputer?

Supercomputers are broadly defined as the fastest computing systems at any given time and are used for scientific purposes that require handling of troves of data at high speed. This includes testing mathematical models using thousands of variables to infer complex phenomena like weather, climate change, nuclear reactions, origin of the universe and so on.

How is the computing power of a supercomputer measured?

The standard unit to measure computational power is FLOPSfloating point operations per second. It is the number of mathematical operations involving fractions that a computer can do per second. For the most basic computers and smartphones, the computational ability is a few megaflops (more than a million operations per second). Chinese supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight -which is ranked the fastest in the world by Top500 (a supercomputer ranking project) -has a computational ability of 93 petaflops, more than a billion times faster than normal computers. Recently it was announced that Japan will spend $173 billion to bu ild the world's fastest supercomputer system with a capacity of 130 petaflops.

What problems were faced by supercomputer pioneers who worked to enhance computer speed?

First, the maximum speed at which electronic signals can travel cannot be faster than the speed of light. Second, because of frequent receiving and transmission of these signals, it was important to have a suitable cooling technique to control the temperature of the system. Both barriers were tackled by decreasing the lengths these signals were re quired to traverse by using circuit boards and innovation in cooling techniques.Other advancements involved introduction of vector arithmetic in computing.

When was the world's first supercomputer built?

In 1965, CDC 6600, a supercomputer designed by US engineer Seymour Cray was installed at the CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. CDC 6600 had a computational capaci ty of three megaflops. In the 1970s, the series CDC 7600 was introduced, which was10 times faster than the earlier version. In 1976, the Cray-1supercomputer was installed in the Los Alamos laboratory with a computation capacity of 160 megaflops.

What were the limitations of Cray's designs?

Cray's designs used expensive technology and liquid immersion technology to achieve high speeds. W Daniel Hill, an MIT graduate proposed a decentralised control instead of one CPU, which meant several inexpensive processors could be arran ged to achieve speeds comparable to the most expensive supercomputer designed by Cray. Hill designed the CM-1 in 1985, which used thousands of inexpensive processors to achieve the same speed as Cray's computer.

Which countries are the world leaders in supercomputers today?

Of the 500 fastest supercomputers, the highest numbers are in the US and China, each having 171 such systems. Germany , Japan and France each have 20 or more such systems. India is ranked 9th with five of its supercomputers listed in Top500.

2019/ 2 Indian computers among the world's 100 fastest

Nov 3, 2019: Gadgets Now

Indian supercomputers in the list: Pratyush, installed at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune
From: Nov 3, 2019: Gadgets Now
Indian supercomputers in the list: Mihir, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Noida
From: Nov 3, 2019: Gadgets Now

2 Indian super computers in the world's 100 fastest list

The list of world's fastest super computers is out. The bi-annual list called TOP500 is dominated by China and the US. There are also two Indian supercomputers in the list, ranked at No. 57 and No. 100. Here's over to India and the world's fastest supercomputers …

Summit, installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory United States

The world's fastest super computer is IBM-built. It boasts of an HPL result of 148.6 petaflops.

Sierra, installed at at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States

Ranked at No. 2, Sierra is another IBM-built supercomputer in the Top 10. The second-ranked Sierra system comes in at 94.6 petaflops.

Sunway TaihuLight, is installed at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, China

At no. 3 is Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer, with an HPL mark of 93.0 petaflops. TaihuLight was developed by China’s National Research Center of Parallel Computer Engineering & Technology (NRCPC).

Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), installed at the National Supercomputer Center in Guangzhou, China

The fourth fastest super computer in the world is Tianhe-2A (Milky Way-2A), a system developed by China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT). It boasts of GPL result of 61.4 petaflops.

Frontera, installed at the Texas Advanced Computing Center of the University of Texas in the United States

At No. 5 is Dell C6420 super computer Frontera. It has an HPL result of 23.5 petaflops. Powered solely by Xeon Platinum processors.

Piz Daint, installed at the Swiss National Supercomputing Centre in Lugano, Switzerland

At No. 6 is Piz Daint, a Cray XC50 supercomputer. At 21.2 petaflops, it remains the most powerful system in Europe.

Trinity, installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories in the United States

Trinity, a Cray XC40 system, is ranked number seven, with an HPL performance of 20.2 petaflops.

ABCI, installed at Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology

Listed at No. 8, AI Bridging Cloud Infrastructure (ABCI) is Fujitsu-built system with an HPL result of 19.9 petaflops.

SuperMUC-NG, installed at Leibniz Supercomputing Centre in Germany

SuperMUC-NG is at No. 9 position with 19.5 petaflops. The Lenovo-built machine is powered by Intel Platinum Xeon processors.

Lassen supercomputer, installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States

Lassen supercomputer is ranked at No. 10 and delivers 18.2 petaflops. It is said to be the unclassified counterpart to the classified Sierra system and shares the same IBM Power9/NVIDIA V100 GPU architecture.

Indian supercomputers in the list: Pratyush, installed at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology in Pune

Pratyush is a Cray XC40-based super computer. It is ranked at No. 57 in the Top 500 list.

Indian supercomputers in the list: Mihir, National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Noida

Ranked at No. 100 in the overall list, Mihir supercomputer is another Cray XC40-based system.

As in 2020

Meet Pratyush and Mihir, India's two supercomputers among the world’s best, June 24, 2020: The Times of India

Every year the list of fastest supercomputers comes out. Published by TOP500, the list this year features two supercomputers from India once again. Pratyush and Mihir, the two supercomputers of India, ranked in at 67th and 120th spot on the list. These rankings were announced on June 22 at the ongoing virtual event ISC (International Supercomputing Conference) High Performance 2020 Digital.

The two Indian supercomputers’ rankings, however, has fallen down compared to last year. According to the 2019 rankings, Pratyush supercomputer was in 57th spot whereas Mihir supercomputer’s ranking was 100. The TOP500 list is a project that regularly ranks and evaluates the top 500 fastest supercomputer systems in the world.

Prathush is India’s fastest supercomputer with 3.7 petaflops high performance. The supercomputer is at the Indian Institute of Meteorology, Pune.

For the uninitiated, a petaflop is the measure of a computer’s processing speed. A petaflop is equal to a quadrillion or a thousand trillion calculations per second.

Mihir, which was ranked 120th, had a capacity of 2.5 petaflops. This particularly fast machine is at the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast in Noida.

The two supercomputers were installed in 2018 by the ministry of earth sciences. The estimated cost of installing and setting them up was close to Rs 440 crores, according to an earlier report by The Economic Times.

The two supercomputers are used to help the quality of not just weather forecasts like monsoon but also of cyclones, earthquakes and other extreme events. They can also help forecast air quality, flood, drought among other things.

As for the fastest supercomputer in the world, that title was accorded to Fukagu, a Japanese system backed by Fujitsu and RIKEN. For comparison sake, Fukagu had a performance of 415.53 petaflops. The list, otherwise, was dominated by a lot of supercomputers from China and the USA.

2022: Param Pravega

Feb 5, 2022: Gadgets Now

Under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru has installed and commissioned Param Pravega, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the country. The NSM was launched to enhance the research capacities and capabilities in the country by connecting them to form a Supercomputing grid, with National Knowledge Network (NKN) as the backbone. The NSM is setting up a grid of supercomputing facilities in academic and research institutions across the country. Here are key details about Param Pravega supercomputer and more.

What is the hardware of Param Pravega supercomputer

The Param Pravega supercomputer is a mix of heterogeneous nodes built of Intel Xeon Cascade Lake processors for the CPU nodes and NVIDIA Tesla V100 cards on the GPU nodes. It consists of 2 Master nodes, 11 Login nodes, 2 Firewall nodes, 4 Management, 1 NIS Slave and 624 (CPU+GPU) compute nodes with total peak computing capacity of (CPU+GPU) 3.3 PFLOPS performance. The hardware of Param Pravega is an ATOS Bull Sequana XH2000 series system, boasting a comprehensive peak compute power of 3.3 PetaFlops.

What is the operating system of the Param Pravega

The entire system is built to operate using Linux OS based on CentOS 7.x distribution. The machine hosts an array of program development tools, utilities, and libraries for ease of development and execution of HPC applications on the heterogeneous hardware of the machine. Common compilers from GNU and Intel are accessible on the system for MPI and OpenMP parallel libraries. For use on the GPU nodes the system has CUDA and OpenACC SDKs installed. Further, popularly used parallel mathematical, scientific, and application libraries like Intel-MKL, GNU Scientific library, HDF5, NetCDF, range of Python-based mathematical and data manipulation libraries etc. are installed on the system. Added to these, the machine also hosts system monitoring and management tools developed by CDAC team.

Who provides design and implementation support

The software stack on top of the hardware is provided and supported by C-DAC, Pune. The HPC Technologies team of C-DAC is instrumental in the design and implementation of the solution for end-use along with ATOS and BULL.

Where are the other supercomputers installed in India

NSM has supported the deployment of 10 supercomputing systems so far in the country. These include several IITs; Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune; Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), Bengaluru; National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute (NABI), Mohali; and C-DAC Pune. PARAM Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by PARAM Shakti, PARAM Brahma, PARAM Yukti, PARAM Sanganak at IIT-Kharagpur IISER, Pune, JNCASR, Bengaluru and IIT Kanpur respectively. Four NSM Nodal Centres for training in HPC and AI have been established at IIT Kharagpur, IIT Madras, IIT Goa and IIT Palakkad.

PARAM Siddhi supercomputer made it to 'Top 100 supercomputers' in the world list in 2020

PARAM Siddhi - AI, the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer, has achieved global ranking of 62 in TOP 500 most powerful supercomputer systems in the world, released in November 2020.

Is this the first supercomputer at IISc Bengaluru

No. IISc has a cutting-edge supercomputing facility which was established several years ago. In 2015, the institute procured and installed SahasraT, which was at that time the fastest supercomputer in the country.

What all is SahasraT supercomputer used for

The SahasraT supercomputer hosts an array of programme development tools, utilities, and libraries for developing and executing High Performance Computing (HPC) applications. Faculty members and students have been using this facility to carry out research in various areas. These include research on Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, such as modelling viral entry and binding, studying interactions of proteins in bacterial and viral diseases, and designing new molecules with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Researchers have also used the facility to simulate turbulent flows for green energy technologies, study climate change and associated impacts, analyse aircraft engines and hypersonic flight vehicles, and many other research activities. These efforts are expected to ramp up significantly with Param Pravega.

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