CSIR, Nvidia Partner to Launch GPU-Powered AI Center in India

By Oliver Peckham

July 10, 2018

As reported by a number of Indian news outlets, India’s Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is partnering with Nvidia to establish a new, AI-focused Centre of Excellence in New Delhi, India’s capital. CSIR is working with Nvidia through one of its constituent laboratories, the Central Electronics Engineering Research Institute (CEERI).

The CEERI-Nvidia Center of Excellence

The new center – dubbed the “CEERI-Nvidia Center of Excellence,” or CNCoE – is designed to offer a complete development environment for AI applications. It will house India’s first industrial-scale AI supercomputer, a five-petaflops (mixed precision, owing to Nvidia’s Tensor cores) system comprised of five Nvidia DGX-1 machines.

Nvidia DGX-1 systems feature eight Tesla V100 GPUs and NVLink technology

“This centre will provide a unique platform for developing AI systems to solve some of the critical problems in healthcare, natural resource management, food production, security and transportation by exploiting multi-dimensional knowledge base available with CSIR and other research organisations in the country,” said Santanu Chaudhury, director of CSIR-CEERI. “The industry can use this facility to develop AI-based products supporting the Make in India initiative of the government, This CNCoE has the potential to usher in a culture of AI based innovations in a variety of application domains.”

CSIR employs more than 4,000 scientists across 38 laboratories in India. However, the CNCoE will not only be available to CSIR laboratories; other public and private entities across India will be able to conduct research using its resources.

“This CNCoE is significant because it brings together Nvidia’s cutting-edge AI platform with vast industrial scientific research expertise and capability from CSIR-CEERI,” said Vishal Dhupar, managing director, Nvidia South Asia. “This combination will enable researchers and industry across the country to advance their AI systems development.”

India’s growing HPC investments

The announcement of the CNCoE comes on the heels of a string of HPC developments and investments in India. In January, India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences deployed two Cray XC40 supercomputers aimed at improving weather and climate modeling. The two supercomputers, totaling more than six petaflops, constitute the largest supercomputing resource in India. In June, the larger system ranked as the 39th fastest supercomputer worldwide on the Top500 list. And just five days ago, Cray announced that the Indian Institute of Technology will be deploying one of Cray’s XC50 supercomputers to power its research.

Looking ahead

CSIR-CEERI signed the memorandum of understanding with Nvidia on Thursday, July 5. No implementation timeline or completion date has yet been announced for the new center.

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