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   Faster PARAM to take on US supercomputer  

Dated, July 09, 2009

Pune-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) is developing the advanced high-speed Param super-computer, to be unveiled by 2012, according to a top official.

"Over 150 top scientists are working on this project. This would be a major achievement for India,"Rajan T Joseph, Director General, C-DAC, told Financial Chronicle, on the sidelines of a conference. The new supercomputer will have one pita flop (equivalent to 1,000 tera flops) speed for various computing performances. Only the US has developed such an advanced pita flop super-speed computer before. "We will compete with the Americans in this supercomputing technol-ogy and offer it at a cheaper rate to the world market," said scientist SP Dixit, director of C-DAC and principal investigator of high-performance compu-ting centre.

In 1991, C-DAC, had for the first time unveiled Param 8000 supercomputer which had a speed of one giga flop (1,000 giga flop is equivalent to one tera flop). While a super computer with one giga flop performs one billion mathematical operations per second, one pita flop super computer performs 1,000 trillion mathematical operations per second.

Prime minister Manmo-han Singh will unveil C-DAC's latest Param Yuva supercomputer, with a speed of 54 tera flops, soon, according to officials. "After 21 years of supercomputing research (C-DAC est.1988), and producing a series of supercomputers, the senior scientist team built the Param Yuva supercomputer," Dixit said. It will carry a price tag of Rs 25 crore, while the same model made in the US is priced at Rs 50 crore, he added.

Dixit said the yet-to-be-named super speed supercomputer would cost around Rs 500 crore. "But we are not here to make money and, therefore, we may price it around Rs 150 crore since C-DAC’s mission is to help in capacity building of developing countries," Dixit said.

The team is working on how to use less power, less space and make it affordable for the world market. At present, Param Yuva super computer uses 1 MW of power. "Logically, the highend Param super speed computer we are building will consume 20 MW of power. But we are working on reducing the power consumption," said Dixit.

"Top end supercomputers cater to various applications in computational fluid, dynamics, weather forecasting, bio-informatics, finite element analysis, ocean seismic modelling, material modelling, national database of various kinds, e-governance, telemedicine, network applications and a host of high speed activities," said Joseph.

C-DAC has also sold Param supercomputing clusters to Tanzania, Russia, Armenia, Saudi Arabia Singapore, Ghana, Myan-mar, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. "We have sold these Param supercomputers with a price tag of Rs 3.74 crore to Rs 8 crore," Joseph said.