What is India’s National Supercomputing Mission? What are the Characteristics of the National Supercomputing Mission? Read further to know more.
The government of India has introduced the National Supercomputing Mission to boost the national academic institutions and research and development to install supercomputing systems. India had been facing difficulties in the early 19th century in purchasing supercomputers for various purposes.
After multiple projects and attempts, the National Supercomputing Mission was introduced by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology in 2015 to install 73 supercomputers in India by 2022.
The mission’s budget is about Rs.4500 crore. Not only does the mission aim at installing supercomputers, but it also aims at producing components of the same in the country. The supercomputer ‘Param Pravega’ was deployed at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru. It boasts 3.3 petaflops of supercomputing power.
It was built as part of the government’s National Supercomputing Mission. The National Supercomputing Mission aims to indigenously develop and manufacture powerful computers.
National Supercomputing Mission(NSM)
The National Supercomputing Mission, which was approved in 2016, is being implemented and managed jointly by the Departments of Science and Technology (DST) and Electronics and Information Technology (DEET) (DeitY).
- The Mission intends to empower national academic and research institutions across the country by constructing a massive supercomputing grid comprised of more than 70 high-performance computing units.
- These supercomputers will also be linked via the National Knowledge Network to the National Supercomputing Grid (NKN). The NKN is another government program that connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high-speed network.
- The Mission comprises the creation of highly professional High-Performance M Computing (HPC) aware human resources to tackle the development requirements of these applications.
- The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, is in charge of implementing the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
- Under NSM’s constructed approach, C-DAC has been tasked with designing, developing, deploying, and commissioning supercomputing devices.
- C-DAC is constructing an indigenous supercomputing ecosystem in stages under the building approach.
Characteristics of the National Supercomputing Mission
- In India, the mission strengthens national academic and research and development institutions.
- The task’s supercomputers will be networked on the National Supercomputing grid via the National Knowledge Network, which is another program that unites academic institutions and R&D labs over a high-speed network.
- Creation of highly professional High-Performance Computing that is mindful of human resources for meeting application development issues
Goals of National Supercomputing Mission
- To advance India as a world leader in supercomputing.
- To strengthen India’s ability to solve grand challenge challenges of national and global connectivity.
- To provide cutting-edge supercomputing technology to our scientists and researchers.
- To enable them to do cutting-edge research in their respective fields.
- To decrease redundancy and duplication of works and optimize investments in supercomputing.
- In the strategic domain of supercomputing technology, achieve global competitiveness and self-reliance.
Nodal agencies for the National Supercomputing Mission
The following are the nodal agencies engaged in the formation of the National Supercomputing Mission:
- Department of Science and Technology
- Centre of Development of Advanced Computing
- Department of Electronics and Information Technology
- Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
With a total of 6.8 petaFLOPS, India now has two fastest supercomputers: Mihir and Pratyush. While the National Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecast, Noida, introduced Mihir, the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, introduced Pratyush.
Mihir and Pratyush are used for the following tasks:
- Air Quality
- Forecasting the weather
- Detecting natural disasters
India’s first supercomputer
While India was having problems with supercomputers in the 1980s, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing was established. In 1991, C-DAC released the PARAM 8000 supercomputer, which had a speed of 1 Gigaflop. India’s first supercomputer was the PARAM 8000. PARAM stands for Parallel Machine.
The C-DAC followed PARAM 8000 with PARAM 8600. The C-DAC launched PARAM 9000 and PARAM Padma with teraflops ranges as part of its second and third missions.
Application of supercomputers
The following are some applications for supercomputers:
- Drug development
- Nuclear test simulations in three dimensions
- Applications in space
- Forecasting the weather
- Aerodynamic investigation
- Natural disaster detection
Supercomputers under the National Supercomputing Mission
The National Supercomputing Mission’s first three supercomputers were installed in the following locations:
- Param Shakti, a supercomputer at IIT Kharagpur with a performance of 650 teraFLOPS.
- Param Shivay, a supercomputer at IIT BHU, has a performance of 1 PetaFLOPS.
- IITM Param Brahma, a supercomputer with a speed of 650 teraFLOPS, was built in Pune.
PetaFLOP is a computer processing speed measurement. It is measured in billions of trillions of floating-point operations per second.
A 100 AI petaFLOPS Artificial Intelligence supercomputing machine is being developed as a result of the convergence of High-Performance Computing and Artificial Intelligence. C-DAC will have it installed. The National Supercomputing Mission has also resulted in the production of supercomputer expertise by training over 2400 professionals in this field.
National Supercomputing Mission Phases
The National Supercomputing Mission is divided into three phases:
- In this phase, India adds 30% of the value to supercomputers.
- The first indigenously built supercomputer, Param Shivay, was placed at IIT (BHU).
- Supercomputers Param Shakti and Param Brahma have been installed at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, respectively.
- Following that, supercomputing facilities were established in two more institutions, with one more on the way, with a computing speed of 6.6 Petaflops (PF).
- During this phase, India adds 40% of the value to supercomputers.
- By April 2021, 8 institutions will have supercomputing facilities with a combined compute capacity of 10 PF.
- MoUs have also been linked with 14 premier Indian institutes for the establishment of Supercomputing Infrastructure with Assembly and Manufacturing in India.
- This phase will be finished by September 2021. When finished, it will increase the country’s computing power to 16 Petaflops (PF).
- This phase will increase computing performance to around 45 Petaflops.
- This will feature three 3-PF systems and one 20-PF system as a national facility.
- The mission’s third phase will begin in January 2021 with the goal of reaching a supercomputing performance of 45 petaFLOPS.
These three phases will provide access to High-Performance Computing facilities to around 75 universities and thousands of academics and active researchers via the National Knowledge Network.
India has created an Indigenous server called Rudra that can handle the High-Performance Computing (HPC) needs of all governments and public sector organisations.
National Knowledge Network (NKN)
In 2010, the National Knowledge Network (NKN) was founded. Its goal is to build a high-speed data transmission network that connects all institutions of higher learning and research. It will aid in the exchange of knowledge and collaborative research.
The implementing agency is the National Informatics Centre (NIC), which is part of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technologies.
Key Developments under NSM
The following are some of the large-scale applications being developed under NSM.
- NSM Platform for Genomics and Drug Discovery.
- Urban Modelling: Science-Based Decision Support Framework to Address Urban Environment Issues (Meteorology, Hydrology, Air Quality).
- Flood Early Warning and Prediction System for River Basins of India.
- HPC Software Suite for Seismic Imaging to aid Oil and Gas Exploration.
- MPPLAB: Telecom Network Optimization.
Article Written By : Atheena Fathima Riyas