PARAM Pravega is a National Supercomputer Mission (NSM) Supercomputer. Param Pravega is a supercomputer part of the High-Performance Computing class of system

The Indian Institute of Science (IISC) in Bangalore has commissioned one of the most powerful supercomputers in India, which has a supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops (1 petaflop equals a quadrillion or 1015 operations per second). Dubbed Param Pravega, the supercomputer is the largest in an Indian academic institution.

The facility has been designed and developed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and a majority of components used in the supercomputer have been manufactured and assembled indigenously, along with software developed in India.

The supercomputer has been commissioned in the institution under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) to power diverse research and educational pursuits from across the country. The NSM has so far established 10 supercomputer systems across India with a cumulative computing power of 17 petaflops.

"These systems have greatly helped faculty members and students carry out major R&D activities, including developing platforms for genomics and drug discovery, studying urban environmental issues, establishing flood warning and prediction systems, and optimising telecom networks," IISC said in a statement.

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.

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. The system also hosts high-memory CPU-only nodes that are similar in configuration to the CPU-only nodes except that these high-memory nodes have higher RAM of 768 GB per node (16 GB per core). There is a total of 156 such nodes on this system, yielding a maximum of 7488 cores for high-memory computations.

The entire system is built to operate using Linux OS based on CentOS 7.x distribution and hosts an array of program development tools, utilities, and libraries for ease of development and execution of HPC applications.

Not The First Supercomputer At IISC

Param Pravega is not the first supercomputer to be installed in the IISC campus. In 2015, the Institute procured and installed SahasraT, which was at that time the fastest supercomputer in the country. The facility is being used by students and faculty to carry out research in various impactful and socially-relevant areas.

IISC said that the research conducted by SahasraT revolved around Covid-19 and other infectious diseases, such as modelling viral entry and binding, studying interactions of proteins in bacterial and viral diseases, and designing new molecules with antibacterial and antiviral properties.

"Researchers have also used the facility to simulate turbulent flows for green energy technologies, study climate change and associated impacts, analyse aircraft engines and hypersonic flight vehicles, and many other research activities. These efforts are expected to ramp up significantly with Param Pravega," IISC said in a statement.