India Breaks into Top 5 Supercomputers List!

Can you believe it? India has the Asia’s fastest supercomputer, and the world’s 4th fastest! I first heard the news on All India Radio (AIR) while channel surfing AM stations for cricket commentary. It is named EKA and built by Computational Research Laboratories (CRL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons. This is an wonderful accomplishment, in my opinion, as significant as the unveiling of PARAM in 1991 by CDAC. I hope this will trigger more indigenous research and development in basic sciences and attract more students to pursue high performance computing.

One Reply to “India Breaks into Top 5 Supercomputers List!”

  1. Called EKA (the Sanskrit name for number one), the supercomputer built at the CRL facility at Pune, India, marks a milestone in the Tata group’s effort to build an indigenous high performance computing solution. CRL built the supercomputer facility using dense data centre layout and novel network routing and parallel processing library technologies developed by its scientists.

    EKA uses nearly 1800 computing nodes and has a peak performance of 170 Teraflops (TFlops or Trillion Floating Point Operations per Second) and a sustained performance of 120 Teraflops based on the LINPACK benchmarks which are used by the world-wide community to rank supercomputers based on performance.

    EKA, the CRL supercomputer follows a near-circular layout of the data centre unlike the traditional Hot Aisle & Cold Aisle rows. This near-circular layout enables the building of densely packed supercomputers and this is the first time this architecture has been tried out on this scale.

    “EKA” can be used in various fields such as automotive engineering (cross simulation), drug discovery, and nanotechnology.

    The CRL supercomputer has been built using CLOS Architecture with off-the-shelf servers and Infiniband Interconnect technologies with Linux as the operating system. This is the first ever site in the world which has used the Dual Data Rate Infiniband with fibre- optic cable technology for superior performance.

    This CRL supercomputer includes nodes and racks built by Hewlett Packard (HP Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c system) which uses high speed quad-core Clovertown processors from Intel Corp. and Dual Data Rate Infiniband switches from Mellanox Corp. and Voltaire Corp. The CRL team has been actively supported by scientists and engineers at Tata Consultancy Services.

    In the near term, CRL is targeting and developing applications such as neural simulation, molecular simulation, computational fluid dynamics, crash simulation, and digital media animation and rendering. The longer term application areas would include financial modelling, seismic modelling, geophysical signal processing, weather prediction, medical imaging, nanotechnology, personalized drug discovery, real time rendering, and virtual worlds among others. CRL also intends to offer high performance and supercomputer system integration, research, applications and software services to its customers around the globe in the area of high performance computing.

    Meanwhile, in the Top 500 Supercomputer list, IBM’s BlueGene/L continues to figure as the world’s fastest supercomputer, while second place goes to IBM’s newer version of BlueGene/L called BlueGene/P.

    About CRL Limited

    Computational Research Laboratories was incorporated as a fully-owned subsidiary of Tata Sons with a mandate to achieve global leadership in the area of high-performance computing systems. With an elite team of 50 researchers and scientists covering application software, system architecture, system software and hardware design — CRL not only builds world-class and globally competitive supercomputer systems but also delivers application-level scalability.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *