Monday, May 2, 2011

ISRO develops India's fastest supercomputer

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has built India's fastest supercomputer in terms of theoretical peak performance —220 trillion floating point operations per second (FLOPS).

K. Radhakrishnan, ISRO Chairman, inaugurated the supercomputer, SAGA-220, at the newly established supercomputing facility, named after Satish Dhawan, of the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre here on Monday.

Space scientists are using SAGA-220 (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) for solving complex aerospace problems.

The supercomputer was fully designed and built by the space centre using commercially available hardware and open-source software components. The system uses as many as 400 NVIDIA Tesla 2070 graphic processing units (GPUs) and an equal number of Intel Quad Core Xeon central processing units (CPUs), supplied by WIPRO, with a high-speed interconnect.

With each GPU and CPU providing a performance of 500 GigaFLOPS and 50 GigaFLOPS, respectively, the theoretical peak performance of the system amounts to 220 TeraFLOPS. The GPU-based system offers significant advantage over the conventional CPU-based system in terms of cost, power, and space requirements.

An official release said the supercomputer cost about Rs.14 crore. The system was environmentally green and consumed only 150 kW of power. This system could be easily scaled to many PetaFLOPS (1,000 TeraFLOPS), it added.


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