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India's First Three (Out of 60) Supercomputers Are Here

India’s Department of Science and Technology (DST) Secretary Ashutosh Sharma announced that two more supercomputers, which are part of the Indian government's National Supercomputing Mission roadmap, will become functional in a few days. As reported by Indian newspaper Livemint, India's first supercomputer from the project is already functional at the Indian Intitute of Technology (IIT) Banaras Hindu University.

Param Shavak, India's first supercomputer
(Image credit: CDAC)

The National Supercomputing Mission aims to build 60 supercomputers, mostly with local technology, by 2022. The project is split into three main phases.

Phase one of the project includes integration and assembly at the motherboard level for the built supercomputers, according to Sharma. There are six supercomputers currently planned for phase one. 

The second phase will begin next year and see the building of 10 more supercomputers, with most of the assembly and integration done in India.

In phase three, the rest of the supercomputers should be fully built in India with the exception of the processors, which will continue to be outsourced.

Sharma told reporters that the National Supercomputing Mission will cost Rs 4,500 crore ($633 million). The project is meant to boost Indian research, as well as national security, according to Sharma.

Milind Kulkarni, a senior scientist at DST, gave a few more details about the goal of the new supercomputers, which will create a National Knowledge Network between various research-focused universities:

“They would help improve weather services, disaster management, ensure faster processing of data, support computational biology, flood control and aid research in various disciplines," Kulkarni said. 

He added that as many as 3,000 people were already trained to use the supercomputers, including from chemistry, physics, biology and computer programming backgrounds. 

“So wherever they have been installed, they would be connected to all other institutions through the National Knowledge Network. So, if your university is part of the network, then anyone sitting on a desktop can make use of it, by seeking time to do the related high computing work," Kulkarni said.

Even though the current National Supercomputing Mission roadmap doesn’t include using processors made in India yet, the Indian government launched its very first RISC-V processor, Shakti, recently. 

Going from building an experimental low-powered processor to building a supercomputer-grade CPU core should take some time. However, it’s clear that India has its eyes set on a super technological future. 

  • drivinfast247
    Now they'll be able to telemarket 100 times the number of calls.
    Reply
  • bit_user
    I just hope they're not powered by coal-fired power plants, which I think still provide most of India's electricity.
    Reply
  • Specter0420
    India recently slammed their lunar lander into our moon wasting a huge pile of cash, now they are wasting even more money on these computers. Meanwhile, over 90% of their raw sewage settles right back into their drinking water. Human fecal waste is found everywhere, even in their streets and on their sidewalks.

    Maybe India should focus on bringing SOME quality of life to its citizens before trying their hand at advanced sciences.

    Mesopotamians mastered the sewer system over 6,000 years ago...
    Reply
  • Arjun Krishna Lal
    Specter0420 said:
    India recently slammed their lunar lander into our moon wasting a huge pile of cash, now they are wasting even more money on these computers. Meanwhile, over 90% of their raw sewage settles right back into their drinking water. Human fecal waste is found everywhere, even in their streets and on their sidewalks.

    Maybe India should focus on bringing SOME quality of life to its citizens before trying their hand at advanced sciences.

    Mesopotamians mastered the sewer system over 6,000 years ago...

    I'm sorry but I just have to reply to this, not because it's offensive but because it's factually wrong. Indians invented urban planning and advanced sewer system. The Indus Valley civilization built the very first urban sewer network, with working showers and toilets circa 3000 BC while the Romans were still shitting in the Tiber and your ancestors were grunting and dancing around a fire wearing animal skins, before crawling back to their caves. Was there a sanitation problem in India in the past? Absolutely, and urban India is still far from spotless. But immense progress has been made. The majority of the Delhi municipal water supply as of this year is fit to drink right out of the tap. Do that in some places in 'Murica like Flint and you'll die of lead poisoning. Yes, the Chandrayaan mission cost $125 million. It helped the country gain critical R&D experience that can translate into better consumer products, service lines, and defence equipment. What exactly does $5 billion (50 times the moon mission budget) spent on a wall do for America? To be honest, I feel sorry for you .Yes, the West has had a good 200 years. But for 4800 of the past 5000 years, the world's largest economic powers have been India and China in alternation. This is our world and you've always been nothing more than peripheral entities living in unwanted climes, profiting from our ideas and products. Enjoy the next couple decades. They're the only point in all of human history where you've actually mattered :)
    Reply
  • joeblowsmynose
    Specter0420 said:
    India recently slammed their lunar lander into our moon wasting a huge pile of cash, now they are wasting even more money on these computers. Meanwhile, over 90% of their raw sewage settles right back into their drinking water. Human fecal waste is found everywhere, even in their streets and on their sidewalks.

    Maybe India should focus on bringing SOME quality of life to its citizens before trying their hand at advanced sciences.

    Mesopotamians mastered the sewer system over 6,000 years ago...

    Maybe one day India will be able to become more civilized and have the ability to spend 800 billion dollars a year inventing better ways to kill people, invading countries, taking over governments killing civilians and children alike, creating terrorist organizations (al qaeda was created by US government - its not a secret anymore), all the while over a hundred thousands of americans are dying per year due to an incompetent and corrupt capitalist medical system, and then criticize other countries for not being the same way.

    Maybe one day all the counties will be able to be just like this; only if they can learn to spend their money appropriately ... ahhh the American dream ... to be able to pretend that your shit doesn't stink - what a liberty!
    Reply
  • prtskg
    Specter0420 said:
    India recently slammed their lunar lander into our moon wasting a huge pile of cash, now they are wasting even more money on these computers. Meanwhile, over 90% of their raw sewage settles right back into their drinking water. Human fecal waste is found everywhere, even in their streets and on their sidewalks.

    Maybe India should focus on bringing SOME quality of life to its citizens before trying their hand at advanced sciences.

    Mesopotamians mastered the sewer system over 6,000 years ago...
    India isn't rich in natural resources or big like Australia that they can develop by selling their natural resources. If they want to develop, they'll have to invest in technologies.
    Just one step of their lunar mission failed, all the objectives were met, I don't think that's a failure. Taking into account that the whole mission had a cost of $140 million and comparing it with other countries like China's $8.4 billion in lunar craft in 2017, I think they did pretty good.
    Quality of life is almost (not exactly) directly proportional to economic and educational development of the country as a whole and they seem to be doing exactly that in the last 20-25 years.
    And as Arjun already said, if you want to talk about several thousand years ago, very few civilizations would hold candle to India and China.
    Reply