India building a supercomputer juggernaut
India will likely unveil its most powerful supercomputer. The supercomputer can earn a place among the world’s top 10 fastest supercomputers.
As per specifications, if the processors operate at full capacity of 10 petaflops (1 followed by 15 zeroes), a clock speed a million times faster than the fastest consumer laptops.
The yet to be unnamed machine will be jointly hosted by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology located in Pune and the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting located in Noida.
The government has sanctioned 400 crores for the project.
Factors that determine the worth of a supercomputer:
- Processing speed, the speed at which a processor processes information
- Power usage
- Arrangement of processors
What can be achieved through this program:
- Colleges and research institutions can harness the ability of the supercomputer to address problems that range from weather modelling to how proteins fold.
- Most of the computing power of the machine will be help in monsoon forecasting by utilizing a dynamic model
- This will be achieved by letting a custom model calculate weather. The model will be based on weather simulations of a given month.
History of the Indian supercomputer program:
Indian supercomputer program began in the 1990’s, when India started building and hosting supercomputers. EKA build by the Tata group was the only Indian supercomputer to hold a place among the top 10 supercomputers in the world.
Though several ultra-fast machines exist at Indian academic institutions but they only feature among the top hundred to two-hundred in the world.
World’s fastest supercomputers:
China's new system, the Sunway TaihuLight whose theoretical peak performance is 124.5 petaflops (floating point operations per second) is the world’s fastest supercomputer at present.
It is the first supercomputer to exceed the processing speed of 100 petaflops.
This is also significant from the perspective that earlier China was relying entirely on US microprocessors for its supercomputing program, but Sunway TaihuLight uses processors that are developed by a Chinese firm, which makes China self-reliant in supercomputing technology.
India needs to learn from this and enhance its research and development expenditure to attain self-reliance in supercomputing technology. Though the development of the above-mentioned supercomputer is a step in the right direction.