Intel’s New Hyderabad Design Center Targets Exascale Era Technologies

By Tiffany Trader

December 3, 2019

Intel’s Raja Koduri was in India this week to help launch a new 300,000 square foot design and engineering center in Hyderabad, which will focus on advanced computing technologies for the AI and exascale era.

“Over the past 50 years, Intel has brought immense compute power to millions of people, transforming the way we live and work. We are now ushering in a new era of exascale computing driven by the rise of artificial intelligence,” said Koduri, senior VP, chief architect and GM of architecture, graphics & software, Intel Corp., in a statement.

The center will be staffed over the next year; at full capacity, it will support 1,500 professionals. Located within the IT corridor of the city, the LEED-certified facility boasts modern amenities and an incubation center for hardware and systems start ups.

At the inauguration Monday (Dec. 2), Koduri was joined by IT Minister K. T. Rama Rao and Nivruti Rai, head of Intel India and vice president, Data Centre Group, Intel.

Rao, cited by the Hindu Times, pointed to the region’s strong base in software. “I think the time has come to start looking at hardware [too],”  he said, calling for a strengthening of the city’s electronics manufacturing sector.

“Exascale for Everyone” concept – presented by Raj Koduri at Intel’s HPC Developer Conference last month (source: Intel)

The computing and communications technology innovations that will be developed at the design center fit into Intel’s “exascale for everyone” vision. Intel (with Cray) is building one of the first U.S. exascale machines, Aurora, slated to be installed at Argonne National Laboratory in late 2021, but the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company anticipates the core technologies it is developing having a much broader reach.

“Exascale for everyone…requires fundamental disruptions across the technology stack,” said Koduri. “Intel’s design and engineering centers will play a critical role in driving this mission and I look forward to the new center in Hyderabad delivering breakthrough technologies to propel the company’s growth.”

The Hyderbad center follows the opening of an AI- and 5G-focused design center in Bengaluru (Bangalore) last month. Intel has invested nearly $5 billion in India over the last 20 years, according to Rai.

“Intel India has invested significantly in R&D in the country and has been consistently leading in developing the tech ecosystem,” said Rai. “We have made significant impact in areas such as cloud, client, graphics, AI, 5G, and autonomous systems and our new design facility in Hyderabad will enable us to further boost innovation for India and the world.”

India seeks to compete as a global supercomputing leader. Its National Supercomputing Mission–which launched with approved funding of Rs 4,500-crore, roughly $650 million, in 2015–aims to deploy both foreign-sourced and Indian-built supercomputers in the service of climate modeling, weather forecasting, drug discovery, industrial uses and more. The first HPC system developed under the mission was built by Atos in collaboration with C-DAC and inaugurated at the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU). Named “PARAM Shivay,” it offers 833 peak teraflops.

India currently has two systems on the Top500: Pratyush, a Cray XC40 system at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (number 57 with 3.8 petaflops) and Mihir, another Cray XC40 at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (number 100 with 2.6 petaflops).

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