THE FIRST THREE supercomputers to be indigenously built under the Make In India initiative will be ready for operations by March 2019. These machines are pitched to be useful in improving disaster management services and for issuing better weather forecasts, among others.
This will be the first set of supercomputers to be built under the central government’s ambitious Rs 4,500 crore worth National Supercomputing Mission (NSM). The aim of the seven-year-long mission is to build a network of over 70 supercomputers operating mainly at top research and academic institutions in the country. The mission is being jointly implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and led by C-DAC and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.
The three machines, to be fully designed, manufactured and assembled in India, are worth Rs 68 crore. They will be installed at IIT (Banaras Hindu University), Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER), Pune and IIT, Kharagpur. “All three processes of design, manufacture and design are parallely going on and we are hopeful of building the supercomputers by March next year,” said Hemant Darbari, director general, C-DAC.
Two machines, each having a capacity of 650 tera flops, will be installed at BHUIT and IISER whereas a 1.3 peta flops supercomputer will be installed at IIT, Kharagpur. The team hopes to first install this advanced facility at the institute in Banaras.
Once operational, these high-performance computing facilities would find widescale applications for improving weather services, for efficient disaster simulation and management, for faster processing of seismic data, for computational biology and many more. The supercomputers are also pitched to be highly energy efficient than the existing ones.
On the progress of NSM, Darbari said, “All the initial setting up of this mega mission is nearing completion. The mission is on track.” So far, Rs 200 crore has been spent for this mission.
Recently, French company Atos bagged the contract to build the supercomputers for C-DAC. Among the other top companies that were shortlisted include HP, Lenovo and Netweb Technologies. The hardware components meant for the supercomputers will be manufactured at the Chennai unit of Atos. The cumulative computive power of BullSequana XH2000 systems to be built by the Atos will stand at 10 petaflops.