Param Pravegam, commissioned under the National Supercomputing Mission, is the largest of all Indian academic institutions
The Indian Institute of Science (IISc.) has installed and commissioned Param Pravega, one of the most powerful supercomputers in India and the largest from an Indian academic institution, under the National Supercomputing Mission ( NSM). The system is expected to power various research and educational activities. It has a total supercomputing capacity of 3.3 petaflops (1 petaflop equals one quadrillion, or 1015 operations per second).
It was designed by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC). The majority of the components used to build this system were manufactured and assembled in India, along with an indigenous software stack developed by C-DAC, in line with the Make in India initiative. NSM is jointly piloted by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), and implemented by C-DAC and IISc.
The mission has supported the deployment of 10 supercomputer systems so far at IISc., in IIT, IISER Pune, JNCASR, NABI-Mohali and C-DAC, with a cumulative computing power of 17 petaflops. About 31,00,000 computational works have been successfully completed by about 2,600 researchers across India till date.
These systems have greatly assisted faculty members and students in carrying out important R&D activities, including the development of platforms for genomics and drug discovery, the study of urban environmental problems, the establishment flood warning and forecasting systems and the optimization of telecommunications networks.
The Param Pravega system at IISc. is a mix 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 full maximum computing power of 3.3 petaflops. The software stack on top of the hardware is provided and supported by C-DAC. The machine hosts a range of program development tools, utilities and libraries for developing and running high performance computing (HPC) applications. IISc. already has a state-of-the-art supercomputing facility established several years ago; in 2015, the institute purchased and installed SahasraT, which was India’s fastest supercomputer at the time.
Faculty members and students use this facility to conduct research in various impactful and socially relevant fields. These include research on COVID-19 and other infectious diseases, such as modeling viral entry and binding, studying protein interactions in bacterial and viral diseases, and designing new molecules with antibacterial and antiviral properties. Researchers have also used the facility to simulate turbulent flows for green energy technologies, study climate change and associated impact, analyze aircraft engines and hypersonic flight vehicles, and many other research activities. research. These efforts are expected to intensify significantly with Param Pravega.