Top Indian Supercomputer Boots Up at Space Center

By Nicole Hemsoth

May 2, 2011

This morning the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) lifted the lid on its recently completed supercomputer, which easily sprints away with the title of the country’s fastest.  Called SAGA-220, (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 teraflops) the Wipro-built  system can be added to the growing ranks of GPU-backed powerhouses that are quickly populating the Top500.

With a combination of 400 NVIDIA Tesla 2070 GPUs and 400 Intel Quad Core Xeon CPUs the compute dynamic duo (CPU-GPU), the complete system delivers a  peak performance of 220 teraflops. Most of  the peak FLOPS are provided by the GPU side. Each Tesla module can theoretically deliver 500 gigaflops to the Xeon CPU’s more modest contribution of 50 gigaflops.

According to an ISRO statement, “the present GPU system offers significant advantage over the conventional CPU-based system in terms of cost, power and space requirements.” Aside from touting the power of the system, officials are slapping the “green” moniker on the new Indian titleholder, estimating energy consumption to be in the 150 kilowatt range.

Reports also indicate that the GPU-CPU combination was selected due to its ability to provide critical power for some of the ISRO’s core space missions. According to a representative from ISRO, the team expects a wide range of their calculations to take far less time with SAGA-220. Following the formal announcement of the new system he stated that it will be “of great use when we start testing our advanced vehicles like Mark III. It will drastically increase speed of calculation and can also evaluate more parameters.”

The SAGA-220 is housed at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, where a majority of the country’s aerospace research takes place. Initial reports that emerged before construction of the facility noted that the new system would be dedicated to computational fluid dynamics (CFD) applications to help researchers build more complex space launch platforms. At that early point, the scientists were hoping to have increased ability to “build virtual prototypes of a launch system and simulate physical and chemical changes to predict performance.” Reports about the SAGA-220 also hinted at the idea that the system would be used to design a reusable launch vehicle.

India’s new powerhouse eclipses the country’s previous number one system, the Hewlett-Packard-powered Eka at the Computational Research Laboratories in Pune, which maxed out at just over 132 teraflops. That system, which ranks at #47 on the Top500, was designed to provide HPC services for research and development among Indian institutions.

The country’s second most powerful supercomputer is government-owned PARAmcluster, which operates at approximately 38 teraflops in its home at the Center for Development of Advanced Computing, which also in Pune. This far less stellar machine crunches general engineering and science problems in addition to handling a number of internal business applications.

Back in January, Wipro Ltd., which is one of India’s largest IT firms, quietly announced that it had been selected to lend the space agency the “critical muscle to crunch large volumes of data as it designs more complex launch vehicles and sets out on ambitious space programs.” 

Prior to today’s official announcement of the center, Ashok Tripathy who heads the systems and technology division at Wipro Infotech, this new facility would solidify the position of its line of Supernova supercomputers and mark a new era for the company’s presence in India. Interestingly, Wipro, being an Indian company, had no role in India’s existing 19 supercomputers with IBM and HP being the most common, thus the country’s fastest also carries another unique title—the first, fastest  Indian-built supercomputer.

Just as Wipro is making a big debut in India this week, so too has increasing attention been heaped on India’s scientific computing achievements. While the SAGA-220 marks an important milestone for the country, it still has a ways to go to climb into the upper echelon of supercomputing.

According to the the latest TOP500 rankings, India’s combined supercomputing might amounts to 333 peak teraflops, which place it at number 15 of 29 countries that have entries on the list. The addition of the SAGA-220 machine could boost the country’s standing significantly.

To gain a sense of India’s supercomputing history, there is a complementary effort to the TOP500 project that ranks Indian supercomputing efforts. The list presents a thorough performance summary and also provides system vendor information.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

May 23, 2017

President Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spend Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Hedge Funds (with Supercomputing help) Rank First Among Investors

May 22, 2017

In case you didn’t know, The Quants Run Wall Street Now, or so says a headline in today’s Wall Street Journal. Quant-run hedge funds now control the largest Read more…

By John Russell

IBM, D-Wave Report Quantum Computing Advances

May 18, 2017

IBM said this week it has built and tested a pair of quantum computing processors, including a prototype of a commercial version. That progress follows an an Read more…

By George Leopold

PRACEdays 2017 Wraps Up in Barcelona

May 18, 2017

Barcelona has been absolutely lovely; the weather, the food, the people. I am, sadly, finishing my last day at PRACEdays 2017 with two sessions: an in-depth loo Read more…

By Kim McMahon

HPE Extreme Performance Solutions

Exploring the Three Models of Remote Visualization

The explosion of data and advancement of digital technologies are dramatically changing the way many companies do business. With the help of high performance computing (HPC) solutions and data analytics platforms, manufacturers are developing products faster, healthcare providers are improving patient care, and energy companies are improving planning, exploration, and production. Read more…

US, Europe, Japan Deepen Research Computing Partnership

May 18, 2017

On May 17, 2017, a ceremony was held during the PRACEdays 2017 conference in Barcelona to announce the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between PRACE in Europe Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

NSF, IARPA, and SRC Push into “Semiconductor Synthetic Biology” Computing

May 18, 2017

Research into how biological systems might be fashioned into computational technology has a long history with various DNA-based computing approaches explored. N Read more…

By John Russell

DOE’s HPC4Mfg Leads to Paper Manufacturing Improvement

May 17, 2017

Papermaking ranks third behind only petroleum refining and chemical production in terms of energy consumption. Recently, simulations made possible by the U.S. D Read more…

By John Russell

PRACEdays 2017: The start of a beautiful week in Barcelona

May 17, 2017

Touching down in Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, it was warm, sunny, and oh so Spanish. I was greeted at my hotel with a glass of Cava to sip and treated to a Read more…

By Kim McMahon

Exascale Escapes 2018 Budget Axe; Rest of Science Suffers

May 23, 2017

President Trump's proposed $4.1 trillion FY 2018 budget is good for U.S. exascale computing development, but grim for the rest of science and technology spend Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Cray Offers Supercomputing as a Service, Targets Biotechs First

May 16, 2017

Leading supercomputer vendor Cray and datacenter/cloud provider the Markley Group today announced plans to jointly deliver supercomputing as a service. The init Read more…

By John Russell

HPE’s Memory-centric The Machine Coming into View, Opens ARMs to 3rd-party Developers

May 16, 2017

Announced three years ago, HPE’s The Machine is said to be the largest R&D program in the venerable company’s history, one that could be progressing tow Read more…

By Doug Black

What’s Up with Hyperion as It Transitions From IDC?

May 15, 2017

If you’re wondering what’s happening with Hyperion Research – formerly the IDC HPC group – apparently you are not alone, says Steve Conway, now senior V Read more…

By John Russell

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Launches Servers, Services, and Collaboration at GTC

May 10, 2017

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today launched a new liquid cooled GPU-driven Apollo platform based on SGI ICE architecture, a new collaboration with NVIDIA, a Read more…

By John Russell

IBM PowerAI Tools Aim to Ease Deep Learning Data Prep, Shorten Training 

May 10, 2017

A new set of GPU-powered AI software announced by IBM today brings automation to many of the tedious, time consuming and complex aspects of AI project on-rampin Read more…

By Doug Black

Bright Computing 8.0 Adds Azure, Expands Machine Learning Support

May 9, 2017

Bright Computing, long a prominent provider of cluster management tools for HPC, today released version 8.0 of Bright Cluster Manager and Bright OpenStack. The Read more…

By John Russell

Quantum Bits: D-Wave and VW; Google Quantum Lab; IBM Expands Access

March 21, 2017

For a technology that’s usually characterized as far off and in a distant galaxy, quantum computing has been steadily picking up steam. Just how close real-wo Read more…

By John Russell

Trump Budget Targets NIH, DOE, and EPA; No Mention of NSF

March 16, 2017

President Trump’s proposed U.S. fiscal 2018 budget issued today sharply cuts science spending while bolstering military spending as he promised during the cam Read more…

By John Russell

Google Pulls Back the Covers on Its First Machine Learning Chip

April 6, 2017

This week Google released a report detailing the design and performance characteristics of the Tensor Processing Unit (TPU), its custom ASIC for the inference Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Compiler Company PathScale Seeks Life Raft

March 23, 2017

HPCwire has learned that HPC compiler company PathScale has fallen on difficult times and is asking the community for help or actively seeking a buyer for its a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Responds to Google TPU Benchmarking

April 10, 2017

Last week, Google reported that its custom ASIC Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) was 15-30x faster for inferencing workloads than Nvidia's K80 GPU (see our coverage Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

CPU-based Visualization Positions for Exascale Supercomputing

March 16, 2017

Since our first formal product releases of OSPRay and OpenSWR libraries in 2016, CPU-based Software Defined Visualization (SDVis) has achieved wide-spread adopt Read more…

By Jim Jeffers, Principal Engineer and Engineering Leader, Intel

TSUBAME3.0 Points to Future HPE Pascal-NVLink-OPA Server

February 17, 2017

Since our initial coverage of the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer yesterday, more details have come to light on this innovative project. Of particular interest is a ne Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia’s Mammoth Volta GPU Aims High for AI, HPC

May 10, 2017

At Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC17) in San Jose, Calif., this morning, CEO Jensen Huang announced the company's much-anticipated Volta architecture a Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Facebook Open Sources Caffe2; Nvidia, Intel Rush to Optimize

April 18, 2017

From its F8 developer conference in San Jose, Calif., today, Facebook announced Caffe2, a new open-source, cross-platform framework for deep learning. Caffe2 is Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Tokyo Tech’s TSUBAME3.0 Will Be First HPE-SGI Super

February 16, 2017

In a press event Friday afternoon local time in Japan, Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) announced its plans for the TSUBAME3.0 supercomputer, which w Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Is Liquid Cooling Ready to Go Mainstream?

February 13, 2017

Lost in the frenzy of SC16 was a substantial rise in the number of vendors showing server oriented liquid cooling technologies. Three decades ago liquid cooling Read more…

By Steve Campbell

MIT Mathematician Spins Up 220,000-Core Google Compute Cluster

April 21, 2017

On Thursday, Google announced that MIT math professor and computational number theorist Andrew V. Sutherland had set a record for the largest Google Compute Eng Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Wants to be “Red Hat” of Deep Learning

January 26, 2017

IBM today announced the addition of TensorFlow and Chainer deep learning frameworks to its PowerAI suite of deep learning tools, which already includes popular Read more…

By John Russell

US Supercomputing Leaders Tackle the China Question

March 15, 2017

As China continues to prove its supercomputing mettle via the Top500 list and the forward march of its ambitious plans to stand up an exascale machine by 2020, Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPC Technique Propels Deep Learning at Scale

February 21, 2017

Researchers from Baidu's Silicon Valley AI Lab (SVAIL) have adapted a well-known HPC communication technique to boost the speed and scale of their neural networ Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DOE Supercomputer Achieves Record 45-Qubit Quantum Simulation

April 13, 2017

In order to simulate larger and larger quantum systems and usher in an age of "quantum supremacy," researchers are stretching the limits of today's most advance Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Share This