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September 15, 1999
The Indian Institute of Science here is all set to receive the most powerful indigenous supercomputer, the Param 10000.
In preparation it has lined up large projects in molecular modelling, fluid dynamics, bio molecular technology and weather and space sciences.
"We are defining and finalising a set of major research projects for Param 10000. One of the main thrusts of the projects would be the augmentation of intensive applications for electronic governance with the supercomputer," Dr Mehta said.
He said the IISc projects with Param 10000 would span all areas of information technology, especially electronic commerce and governance that would help the institute to feed critical inputs to the national initiatives in high performance computing and communications.
According to a recent memorandum of understanding, the developers of Param 10000, the Pune based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing, will deliver supercomputer to IISc for Rs 6 million.
Soon, the Param 10000 will be installed at IISc's Supercomputer Education and Research Centre.
SERC is the first centre in the Asia Pacific Region that has received the shared university research programme support from IBM in the area of high performance computing.
Its research collaborators include IBM, Tata-IBM, Hewlett Packard and LG.
SERC has created a state-of-the-art distributed supercomputing facility that caters to the diverse and evolving computational and visualisation needs of all universities, research and development establishments and industries.
SERC already possesses a set of fast computing systems such as Param 8000 and Param 9000 through which it now undertakes several research, development and training projects.
The SERC clientele include the government, public and private sector undertakings and several multinational companies.
Some of the key projects of SERC are development of distributed shared memory software, multimedia technologies for real time video, database design for flexible manufacturing systems, real time systems, distributed systems and development of software for engineering applications.
SERC's supercomputing facility is a cluster of parallel systems, single processor based high performance computer servers, file servers and high performance graphics and visualisation systems.
The systems are networked across the campus and provide a rich programming environment comprising standard compilers, debuggers, profilers and a rich repertoire of applications software in science and engineering.
The centre's flagship computers used for supercomputing in the giga FLOPS range include a balance of both shared and distributed memory machines such as a 32-node IBM Scalable Power Parallel System, 8-node DEC Turbo Laser 8400 and 6-node SGI Power Challenge XL.
This cluster offers a uniform programming environment that makes parallel programme development, performance tuning and portability easy to accomplish.
All the high-end computer graphics and file server clusters are networked through a high-speed optic fibre links that also connect all the departments to SERC.
"But Param 10000 is a brilliant indigenous effort and it is going to tremendously augment our existing capabilities in the fields of supercomputing," the IISc director pointed out.
Dr Mehta said already SERC is engaged in advanced computer applications in biotechnology, physics and chemistry. "But Param 10000 will be engaged for the electronic governance and the electronic commerce business applications in banking, insurance and telecom," he disclosed.
He said while a number of big corporations will benefit from SERC's research programmes with Param 10000, the commercial benefits from the IISc supercomputing facilities would be equally shared by C-DAC and the institute.
"Param 10000 will help students and researchers in software development projects on various science and engineering applications for national interests. Our mission is to put Param 10000 into critical applications for nation building," Dr Mehta stated.
He said though the IISc is the first institute to get the supercomputer, the Department of Electronics has already shortlist 11 other institutes to provide one Param 10000 each.
They include the six Indian Institutes of Technologies and five select regional engineering colleges across the country.
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