The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has commissioned and installed Param Pravega, which is claimed to be one of the most powerful supercomputers in the country. Param Pravega, which has a capacity of 3.3 petaflops (a measure of a computer’s processing speed; 1 petaflop equals a quadrillion or 1,015 operations per second) has been designed by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).
In line with the Make in India spirit, C-DAC had a majority of components either manufactured or assembled in India with the help of an indigenous software stack developed by C-DAC.
The NSM is implemented by the IISc and C-DAC with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) at the helm of it. The Mission has supported the deployment of 10 supercomputer systems so far at IISc, IITs, IISER Pune, JNCASR, NABI-Mohali and C-DAC, with a cumulative computing power of 17 petaflops.
The Param Pravega is an amalgamation of heterogeneous nodes, with Intel Xeon Cascade Lake processors for the CPU nodes and NVIDIA Tesla V100 cards on the GPU nodes. The hardware consists of an ATOS BullSequana XH2000 series system, with a comprehensive peak compute power of 3.3 petaflops.
The machine will host program development tools, utilities, and libraries for developing and executing High-Performance Computing (HPC) applications.
IISc has been one of the leading most complex supercomputing facilities in the country for several years. In 2015, the Institute was home to SahasraT, the fastest supercomputer in the country. The institute is facilitating the faculty and students with support to carry out research in various impactful and socially-relevant areas.
Most recently, IISc has played a pivotal role in furthering research on COVID-19 by modelling viral entry and binding, studying interactions of proteins in bacterial and viral diseases, and designing new molecules with antibacterial and antiviral properties.