• India
  • May 26

India to install 18 petaFLOPS supercomputer for weather forecasting

• India will unveil its new 18 petaFLOPS supercomputer for weather forecasting institutes by March 2024, Union Earth Sciences Minister Kiren Rijiju said.

• National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) in Noida houses ‘Mihir’, a 2.8 petaFLOPS supercomputer, while the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune, is home to ‘Pratyush’, a 4.0 petaFLOPS supercomputer.

• ‘Mihir’ and ‘Pratyush’ were launched in 2018 and will be decommissioned once the new supercomputer is unveiled.

• The new supercomputer will be bought at a cost of Rs 900 crore.

• According to the arrangement arrived at by the ministry, NCMRWF will be allocated eight petaFLOPS supercomputing power with the remaining 10 petaFLOPS going to IITM.

• The new high-power computing facility is expected to improve weather forecasts at the block level, help weather scientists give higher resolution ranges of forecast, predict cyclones with more accuracy and lead time and ocean state forecast, including marine water quality forecast.

PetaFLOPS computer system

• Floating-point operations per second, or FLOPS, is the unit of measurement that calculates the performance capability of a supercomputer. 

• A 1 TeraFLOPS computer system is capable of performing one trillion floating-point operations per second. The rate 1 TF is equivalent to 1,000 GigaFlops. A 1 PetaFLOPS computer system is capable of performing one quadrillion floating-point operations per second. The rate 1 PF is equivalent to 1,000 TF.

National Supercomputing Mission (NSM)

• In 2015, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the launch of the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) at an estimated cost of Rs 4,500 crore over a period of seven years. 

• The Mission envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising more than 70 high-performance computing facilities. These supercomputers will also be networked on the national supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN). 

• The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network. 

• Academic and R&D institutions as well as key user departments/ministries would participate by using these facilities and develop applications of national relevance. 

• The Mission is being jointly steered by the department of science and technology (DST) and the ministry of electronics and information technology (MeitY) and implemented by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru.

• NSM was set up to provide the country with supercomputing infrastructure to meet the increasing computational demands of academia, researchers, MSMEs, and startups by creating the capability design, manufacturing, of supercomputers indigenously in India.

• The Mission implementation would bring supercomputing within the reach of the large scientific and technology community in the country and enable the country with a capacity of solving multi-disciplinary grand challenge problems.

Objectives of NSM:

1) To make India one of the world leaders in supercomputing and to enhance India’s capability in solving grand challenge problems of national and global relevance.

2) To empower our scientists and researchers with state-of-the-art supercomputing facilities and enable them to carry out cutting-edge research in their respective domains.

3) To minimise redundancies and duplication of efforts, and optimise investments in supercomputing.

4) To attain global competitiveness and ensure self-reliance in the strategic area of supercomputing technology.

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