Varanasi, February 21 2019 ( revised 1600 hrs): Earlier today we carried a news item about a supercomputer named Param Shivay, installed at the Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi. We erroneously reported that it was indigenously developed.
Our misrepresentation of this machine as -- in effect -- "Made in India", flowed from the following statement carried under a banner news at the official website of the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), a Government of India institution, headquartered in Pune:
The first Supercomputer designed and built under National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) by C-DAC at Indian Institute of Technology (BHU), Varanasi was dedicated by Hon'ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ......
We understood the highlighted portions in this statement -- designed and built... by C-DAC -- to mean it was an indignous development. We are wrong it seems. The machine dedicated to the nation by Prime Minister Narenda Modi two days ago would appear to be a Bell Sequana computer sourced from the France-based "global leader in digital transformation", a 13 billion Euro company called Atos.
A press release on behalf of Atos, that reached us a few minutes ago reads: The BullSequana, which is the first supercomputer to be installed as part of the Indian Government’s National Supercomputing Mission (NSM), was officially inaugurated at IIT-BHU in Varanasi by the Prime Minister of India the Honorable Narendra Modi.Named ‘Param Shivav’ (sic), this supercomputer is the first of several to be installed across India as part of a major 3-year agreement between C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing), an organization within the MeitY (Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, India) and Atos.
In November 2018 we had reported on the contract to procure Atos-Bell Sequana super computers under the NSM.
It seems these imported machines, albeit intended to be progressively assembled in India, are to carry the same proud name as the pioneering Indian supercomputer family, Param, starting with the Param 8000 in 1990 and up to Param Yuva II in 2013 ( the series)
CDAC states that "PARAM Shivay", the supercomputer uses more than 120,000 cores (CPU + GPU cores) to offer a peak copute power of 833 TeraFlops.
The National Supercomputing Mission, is an initiative by Government of India to boost indigenous efforts to be in the forefront of supercomputing capability for socio-economic development of the nation. The mission jointly steered by Ministry of Electronics and IT and Department of Science & Technology, is being implemented through the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore.