One of the fastest supercomputers in India named after eminent scientist Dr Vikram Sarabhai was inaugurated Friday at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), an organisation that was founded by him at Ahmedabad in 1947.
“This is the first supercomputer in Gujarat of this magnitude,” said Utpal Sarkar, director of PRL where the supercomputer of the High Performance Computing Cluster was formally unveiled by Professor UR Rao, chairman of PRL Council of Management.
Dilip Angom, who led the team in building this supercomputer at PRL said, “Christened as VIKRAM-100, this supercomputer is the 13th fastest supercomputer in India and is more powerful than 200 desktop computers.”
“This computer is also about 50 times more powerful than the one we had earlier. This supercomputer, with a very high computational capacity, can be used to solve advanced computational problems related to field of science,” said Angom on the sidelines of the inaugural function.
This centrally-run supercomputer can support scientists, researchers and research scholars at PRL who require high performance computing which cannot be met by desktop personal computers. It will be used for computing complex data in various areas like space and atmospheric sciences, geoscience, theoretical physics and solar physics.
“The computer named after Dr Vikram Sarabhai costs roughly about Rs 13 crore and can be easily upgraded,” Angom added. The computer has a storage capacity of 300 terabytes of usable space and can help with numerical simulations as well.
Earlier, addressing scientists at PRL, UR Rao said, “I am very delighted about the supercomputer. But please remember computer is a means and not an end… Science does not come from computers. It has to come from you.” Rao also asked scientists at PRL to come up with experiments for national space missions.
Apart from the supercomputer, PRL also inaugurated a Science Exhibition centre within it’s campus and an android based mobile application that helps PRL employees gain easy access to medical and telephone directories even in absence of internet connection.