C-DAC already makes the PARAM series of supercomputers for strategic requirements

KOLKATA: IIT Kharagpur is building a supercomputer of a speed of 1.3 Petaflops, all the parts of which will be manufactured indigenously.

A Petaflops is a unit of computing speed equal to 1,000 million million (1015) floating-point operations per second. In three months, the institute will be ready to pull the veil off this genius, promised the computer wizards at the institute.

The supercomputer is being built at the high-performance computing (HPC) facility and data centre ecosystem that has come up at the institute under the National Super Computing Mission, which aims at building the fastest and most powerful computers in the country.

The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), which is an autonomous scientific society of the ministry of electronics and information technology, scouted all the IITs before agreeing to set up the HPC at IIT Kharagpur, where the marvel is being built. An MoU between the institute and C-DAC was signed on March 12 for the project.

The department of science and technology (DST), along with experts from Niti Ayog, DRDO and IISc, will help IIT Kharagpur develop this supercomputer.

As the new computing system would revolutionise output and efficiency in complicated calculations, researches on cryptography, chemistry, molecular dynamics, drug discovery, data sciences would directly benefit, said director of IIT Kharagpur Partha Pratim Chakraborty

“Some other fields that will benefit from the project are healthcare, smart cities, geo-sciences and new materials,” he added.

The computer will be built in three phases and no imported part will be used anywhere. The first phase will involve assembling, the second will focus on assembling and manufacturing and the third phase will perfect the design and manufacturing details with all major parts and accessories to be indigenously designed and manufactured, as is C-DAC’s mandate.

After the new supercomputer is built, the HPC will be continuously building improved versions. Students will also use the facility for academic programmes at the institute, like M.Tech, doctoral programmes as well as micro-specialisations.