ISRO claims top slot in Indian supercomputer stakes
The Indian Space Research Organisation says it has built has built India's fastest supercomputer -- fuelled by a mix of Intel quad-core central processors and NVIDIA graphical processors. A release by the Organization said the machine named "SAGA-220" (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) was inaugurated on May 2 at the Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility located within the Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala state.
The "SAGA-220" Supercomputer is “fully designed and built by Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre using commercially available hardware, open source software components and in house developments” says the release which adds that the system uses 400 NVIDIA Tesla 2070 GPUs and 400 Intel Quad Core Xeon CPUs, supplied by WIPRO with a high speed interconnect. Each GPU and CPU provides a performance of 500 GigaFLOPS and 50 GigaFLOPS respectively. The claimed theoretical peak performance of the Rs 140 million machine is 220 tera flops.
However this is not a a measure generally used to compare the performance of super computers which are rated for sustained rather than peak performance.
The fastest Indian computer so far has been the EKA at the Tata Sons’ Computational Research Laboratory in Pune which ranks no 47 in the global TOP 500 Supercomputer rankings with a sustained ( RMax) performance of 132.8 teraflops and a peak (RPeak) of 172.6 TFlops. The SAGA-220 claim of 220 peak TFlops would probably be equivalent to a sustained performance of 200 or less, putting it around # 30 in the global ranking. It remains to be seen if ISRO submits its numbers in time for the next half yearly TOP 500 ranking. The claimed power consumption of 150 KW would make it one of the most efficient and 'green' supercomputers around.
The precise role of Wipro in this achievement is not very clear from the terse ISRO announcement and its sloppy phrasing. However, since 2007, Wipro has been offering its Supernova range of supercomputers, in a partnership with the California, US-based Z Research Inc, and is known to be helping to built the ISRO machine
Earlier story of Indian supercomputers: http://www.indiatechonline.com/india-in-top-500-supercomputer-list-361.php May 3 2011