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July 8, 1997


India's latest supercomputer ready for global market

A part of the Department of Electronics, the Centre for Development of Advance Computing, Pune, is planning to market worldwide its most recent supercomputer, Param Open Frame.

The Brazilian government has already shown keen interest in buying Param's latest version, which is regarded to be among the most powerful and cheapest supercomputers available in the world.

Dr Vijay P Bhatkar, executive director of C-DAC, has said "We are in the process of finalising the first export order."

According to a source at the Centre, C-DAC has approached other potential buyers, including Germany, Canada and Russia. The Centre is now looking at the global market to sell its computers.

In the international market, supercomputers with the same configuration as Param would cost more than double the price.

C-DAC source said that the cost of the supercomputer would be pegged at close to Rs 20 million, which would include software and service charges.

The Brazilian government will evaluate the multifaceted applications of Param and is expected to place more orders with the Center.

C-DAC has already developed 30 supercomputers in the Param 8000 and Param 8600 series. Four of them were exported to Russia, Germany and Canada, and all of them have now evinced interest in the new supercomputer.

"Param Open Frame has demystified all the notions about a supercomputer. All the chips and other elements that have gone into the making of this computer were bought from the open domestic market," adds the source. The processing speed of this supercomputer is 10 giga flops, which is equivalent to one billion calculations per second. It can work on any platform including UNIX, assembly languages and RDBMS. As the name suggests, the computer has an open frame.

With a budget outlay of Rs 480 million (Rs 400 million provided by the government and Rs 80 million from the in-house kitty), an R&D team comprising 250 scientists and engineers worked on two long missions at C-DAC. The first mission that started in 1989 culminated in the development of the first supercomputer, Param 8000, in 1991. The second mission that started in 1993 is scheduled to be completed in 1998.

- Compiled from the Indian media

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