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India set to triple speed of its fastest supercomputers

Published: 25th May, 2023

India set to triple speed of its fastest supercomputers

Context

According to the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), India is set to dramatically scale up its super-computing prowess and install an 18-petaflop system over the course of this year.

Key highlights:

  • The most important details are that India's most powerful supercomputers, Pratyush and Mihir, with a combined capacity of 8 petaflops, are housed at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF).
  • These supercomputers were made operational in 2018 at an investment of 438 crore and will be housed at the IITM and NCMRWF.

Imported from France

  • The Government of India has signed a deal with France to procure high-performance computers worth 4,500 crore by 2025.
  • The new earth-sciences Ministry computers are likely to cost 900 crore and will improve resolution to 6*6 km, meaning four times as many pixels can be used to represent a given area.
  • The fastest high-performance computing system in the world is currently the Frontier-Cray system at Oakridge National Laboratory, with a peak speed of 1 exa-flop.
  • The top 10 other systems range from 400 petaflops to 60 petaflops.

About Supercomputer:

  • A supercomputer is a computer with a high level of performance compared to a general-purpose computer.
  • Performance of a supercomputer is measured in floating-point operations per second (FLOPS) instead of million instructions per second (MIPS).
  • Supercomputers contain tens of thousands of processors and can perform billions and trillions of calculations or computations per second.
  • Some supercomputers can perform up to a hundred quadrillion FLOPS.
  • Since information moves quickly between processors in a supercomputer (compared to distributed computing systems) they are ideal for real-time applications.
  • Supercomputers are used for data-intensive and computation-heavy scientific and engineering purposes such as quantum mechanics, weather forecasting, oil and gas exploration, molecular modeling, physical simulations, aerodynamics, nuclear fusion research and cryptoanalysis.

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