The government is planning to build at least 10 green supercomputers by March next year and install them in select universities and colleges, in a move aimed at boosting high performance computing and high-end interdisciplinary research.
Besides being cost effective, these computers will also be built to consume less power.
“Green supercomputers with a different cooling technology have many advantages. This is the need of the hour... We are planning to build all the 73 supercomputer in the green category,” said Professor Rajat Moona, director general of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing that gave India her first supercomputer.
The first executive board meeting of the National Supercomputing Mission was held earlier this month and it was decided to form five committees to oversee implementation of this mission.
The seven-year plan has been divided into two phases — the first three years for construction of the machines and the next four for the applications that will use this grid. The supercomputers will occupy a space of over 20,000 square feet.
These 10 supercomputers will be among the 73 supercomputing facilities planned by the government under a Rs 4,500-crore mission, jointly steered by the departments of science and technology and electronics and information technology. The aim is to network academic and research institutions across the country into a grid. This grid, using the National Knowledge Network (NKN), is in line with the government’s Digital India push. Out of these computers, three would be capable of peta-scale computing – there are only 37 other machines in the world capable of this.
Peta-scale computing refers to the ability to add at least a quadrillion (1,000 trillion) real numbers in a second. “This speed is equivalent to 5,000-6,000 high-end laptops working in tandem. The new grid could be the first step in our desire to have a supercomputer machine in the top 20 list,” said Moona.
At present, India has two supercomputing machines in the world’s top 100, and nine in the top 500.