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EKA - The Fastest SuperComputer in Asia

Posted by Sunny

India has surprisingly broken into the Top Ten in a much-fancied twice-yearly list of the fastest supercomputers in the world, marking a giant leap in its push towards becoming a global IT power.

EKA (the Sanskrit name for number one) is a supercomputer ranked as the 8th fastest in the world and fastest in Asia as of June 2008, according to the Top 500 Supercomputer list built by Hewlett-Packard.

The supercomputer built at the Computational Research Laboratories (CRL) by Hewlett-Packard facility at Pune, India, marked 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. It was reported to have cost $30 million dollars to build.

Ashwin Nanda, who heads the CRL, told the conference that its supercomputer had been built with HP servers using Intel chips with a total of 14,240 processor cores. The system went operational last month and achieved a performance of 117.9 teraflops.

It is the first supercomputer to have been developed totally by a corporation without any government help, now shares the rarefied heights of supercomputing with two American and one German supercomputer.

Eka is an important milestone because it almost restarts the train of supercomputing in India, which stalled after the PARAM supercomputers developed by the C-DAC. “It is a team effort rather than an individual’s effort. This has put India on the world map and brought a national sense of pride,” said S Ramadorai, chairman, CRL, and also the CEO of India’s largest software firm, TCS. TCS is a key partner in the entire supercomputer project.

The project was also important because it was done with a small work-force and with global partners like Hewlett Packard, Intel and Mellanox. But the most noteworthy achievement of the team was that it finished the project in time even after CRL lost its technical spearhead, Dr Narendra Karmarkar.

  • System Name: EKA
  • Site: Computational Research Laboratories, TATA SONS
  • System Family: HP Cluster Platform 3000BL
  • System Model: Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c
  • Computer: Cluster Platform 3000 BL460c, Xeon 53xx 3GHz, Infiniband
  • Vendor: Hewlett-Packard
  • Application area: Not Specified
  • Installation Year: 2007
  • Operating System: Linux
  • Interconnect: Infiniband DDR
  • Processor: Intel EM64T Xeon 53xx (Clovertown) 3000 MHz (12 GFlops)
For more comprehensive details click here

Proposed Applications:

Supercomputers are typically used for highly calculation problem solving in quantum mechanical physics, molecular modeling, weather forecasting and climate research, and physical simulation including that of nuclear tests.

The term supercomputer is quite relative. It was first used in 1929 to refer to large custom-built tabulators IBM made for Columbia University. The supercomputers of the 1970s are today's desktops.

"The supercomputer system will have a direct effect on the lives of Indians, espcially in areas such as earthquake and Tsunami modelling, modellings of the economy and potential for drug design," said Mr S. Ramadorai, chairman of the Computational Research Laboratories, which is a subsidiary of Indian firm Tata.

Having developed the machine, the Tata group is busy developing a marketing strategy for it. “In another six-nine months, we would be able to build applications and a software library, following which we would take the offering to commercial use,” Raju Bhinge, chief executive, Tata Strategic Management Group — a Tata Group company involved in the development of the facility in Pune told ET. CRL’s capabilities are currently being used by another Tata Group company, Tata Elixsi for high speed animation rendering work. CRL is also looking at newer opportunities in the weather forecasting, automotive crash simulation, computational fluid dynamics in aerospace sector, gaming and animation and drug discovery among many others.

According to company officials, CRL has already been in touch with the likes of Boeing and Airbus for its aerospace applications and there is also interest from Tata Motors for its crash testing application. S Ramadorai, CEO & MD of TCS one of the partners for CRL and chairman of CRL said that the company was also in discussion with a host of government agencies as well, for the use of its new computing prowess.

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  1. mylifeonablog said...

    hey dude tats gr8 following up the comments posted , then can u add abt h.p's new processor xeon that was developed in its bangalores development center...

  2. $ n $ said...

    Thanx for that comment mylifeonablog,

    hmm ya sure......i'll post that one too.
    You requests are greatly entertained.

    Check back soon>>>

  3. $ n $ said...

    ya it's posted now see:

    Intel India Unleashes Xeon 7400 Processor (Dunnington Processor)

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