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September 18, 2012

India Sets Sights on Exascale for 2017

Robert Gelber

India is devising plans to host exascale supercomputers before the end of the decade. According to an Economic Times article, the Center for Development of Advanced Computing C-DAC has proposed investing Rs 4,700 crore (around $872 million) to create systems in the “petaflop and exaflop range of supercomputers” over the next five years. Deploying an exaflops-class machine by 2017 would be quite a feat for India, given that the US, China and some European nations are targeting 2018 and beyond for their first exascale machine.

In the Indian proposal, C-DAC nominated the Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DEITY) to coordinate the effort. The department would be tasked with setting up a National Apex Committee to provide project oversight. C-DAC would be in charge of building the necessary facilities to house the system.

Recently, India has been making substantial efforts to upgrade their supercomputing capabilities. In February, the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research Center for Mathematical Modeling and Computer Simulation (CSIR C-MMACS) announced the deployment of a 250-teraflop cluster, which currently sits in 58th place on the TOP500. The government also announced a 6,000 crore ($1.2 billion) investment with an intent to “propel India into the elite supercomputing club”.

In 2007, India claimed a top ten position with the number-four ranked “Eka”, a 117.9-teraflop machine that has subsequently fallen to number 129. If the government does invest $872 million toward supercomputing over the next five years, it could propel India back into the elite circle of supercomputing nations. But without continued investment, there’s no guarantee the country would stay there for long.

Full story at The Econmic Times

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