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Supercomputer Param Pravega


Recently, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bengaluru installed the supercomputer ‘Param Pravega’. It has a supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops.


GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:
  1. What is Param Pravega?
  2. What are supercomputers?
  3. What is National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)?

What is Param Pravega?

  • Param Pravega is a supercomputer part of the High-Performance Computing class of systems, which is a mix of heterogeneous nodes, with Intel Xeon Cascade Lake processors for the CPU nodes and NVIDIA Tesla V100 cards on the GPU nodes.
  • PARAM Pravega is a National Supercomputer Mission (NSM) Supercomputer.
  • The machine hosts an array of program development tools, utilities, and libraries for developing and executing High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications with the software stack on top of the hardware provided by C-DAC.

What are supercomputers?

  • A supercomputer can perform high-level processing at a faster rate when compared to a normal computer.
  • Supercomputers are made up of hundreds or thousands of powerful machines which use better artificial intelligence (AI) models to improve operations that process huge amounts of data in less time than normal computers.
  • They work together to perform complex operations that are not possible with normal computing systems.
  • Supercomputers require high-speed and specialised chip architectures.
What is a Petaflop?
  • A petaflop is a measure of a computer’s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion Floating-Point Operations Per Second (FLOPS).
  • 103 = kilo, 106 = mega, 109 = giga, 1012 = tera, 1015 = peta, 1018 = exa, 1021 = zetta and 1024 = yotta.
  • In computing, floating-point operations per second is a measure of computer performance, useful in fields of scientific computations that require floating-point calculations.
  • For such cases, it is a more accurate measure than measuring instructions per second.
  • There is no general direct translation between processor clock rate (expressed as Hertz – usually MHz or GHz) and number of floating point operations per second (FLOPS).

What is National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)?

  • The mission was set up to provide the country with supercomputing infrastructure to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups by creating the capability design, manufacturing, of supercomputers indigenously in India.
  • The mission will nationally coordinate collaborative programme involving developers and users of supercomputing systems as well as academic and research institutions.
  • It looks to facilitate effective governance and monitoring mechanisms to build culture of supercomputing for solving complex R&D problems and designing solutions addressing various country specific requirements for scientific, strategic and societal applications.
  • The Mission envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.
  • These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN).
    • The NKN is a central government initiative which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high-speed network.
  • Under NSM, the long-term plan is to build a strong base of 20,000 skilled persons.
  • The mission will be implemented by the Department of Science and Technology (Ministry of Science and Technology) and Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), through the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

-Source: Indian Express

March 2024