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|February 23, 1998||
C-DAC to unveil 100 gigaFLOPS supercomputerDepartment of Electronics Senior Director R K Arora has said India would join the club of a few countries in the world like Japan, United States and China when it launches its supercomputer in March which would be of 100 gigaFLOPS, scalable up to 1,000 gigaFLOPS of computing power.
FLOPS, or 'floating point operations per second', is a measure of computing speed. A megaFLOPS would mean a million floating point operations per
The US plans to control sale of computers that can perform from 2,000 to 7,000 MTOPs (million theoretical operations per second, another unit to measure computing speed) on the plea that it might be diverted to military applications.
Reacting to the news, Arora said India has already produced supercomputers, which are much above the capability of the computers, which the US wants to restrict now.
The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing has nearly 40 supercomputers and some of these have been installed in Germany, Japan, Moscow and even the United States.
The DoE is in touch with the Department of Commerce regarding the state of this technology in India, Arora said.
He said supercomputers are used for high-end computing in strategic areas like defence, space, nuclear programmes and many growing economic areas, where very large databases have to be processed.
He said the country had set up C-DAC in 1988 with the aim of producing a supercomputer in three years and it had come up with India's first indigenously built supercomputer with 1-gigaFLOPS of computing speed in 1991.
"Today we are on the threshold of a supercomputer with 100 gigaFLOPS computing power, scalable to 1,000 gigaFLOPS if "situation demands".
"We have not only to keep developing but now put these computers to different applications in strategic and other areas," he said. "We have the technology to provide our own tool for our needs and can save ourselves from any blackmail in the future and thus safeguard our own interests."
Interestingly, C-DAC was set up when US tried to impose restrictions on India importing Cray supercomputers, fearing that it could be used for military purposes.
Finally, the US relented when India assured them that they would use it for weather forecasting but with a rider that US officials will keep a tab on its use.
- Compiled from the Indian media
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