India is expected to have its first supercomputer whose value is going to worth ₹4,500-crore by the end of December.
The first phase of the NSM has been given more focus on assembling the supercomputer, the build element will be part of the second phase. If things stay on track, IIT-Kharagpur will have a 1.3 petaflop machine and IISER Pune and IIT-BHU will have a 650 teraflop computer each by the end of this year.
The C-DAC is evaluating the technical bids with some of the leading companies which includes the Acer, Fujitsu, IBM, HCL, TCS, Dell and Netweb and soon more company is going to give contract.
“The project is not just building a supercomputer but also applications and that work hasn’t stopped. All other parts of the process are on track,” Hemant Darbari, director general, C-DAC told ET.
C-DAC in partnership with the Indian Institute of Science(IISc) which is based out of Bengaluru, is working on this project which was announced in the year 2015.
However, not everything is just going smooth. As, a person who is closely involved with the NSM activities said that there had been a number of delays from more than past three years, only because the project does not have any dedicated person who is heading it in a proper way. The other problem is funding, as only a portion of Rs 45oo crore is allocated towards the project and has been released so far.
The NSM three years ago, announced in an event that with an intent to propel India higher in the global supercomputer rankings.
“CDAC was set up with a mission to focus on supercomputing, but over the years it has been asked to do too many other things, which has impacted its performance. Most of the brainpower comes from the IITs, IIITs and NITs, but here CDAC has to compete with research grants from private companies like Google which are more attractive to the scientists,” he said. This again, has an impact on the kind of talent available for the NSM.
High performing computers are important if India wants to make a significant progress in areas which includes astrophysics, bioinformatics, drug discovery, weather forecasting. NVIDIA, has recently announced in a statement that it would soon setup India first AI powered and supported supercomputer.