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Installation of supercomputing facility at IITG okayed


GUWAHATI, March 29 - The supercomputing power in the North East is set for a major boost. The Technical Advisory Committee of National Supercomputing Mission (MSM-TAC) has approved the installation of a supercomputing facility of the compute power of 650 TF (approximately 838 TF peak, 70:30 CPU and GPU Hybrid Supercomputing System) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Guwahati (IITG).

The installation of this supercomputing system at IIT Guwahati has been initiated under the National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).

The Department of Science and Technology (DST), along with the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MEITY), is coordinating the mission and the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), Pune, and Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, are the implementing agencies of the mission.

�New Supercomputer at IIT Guwahati with 650 TFLOPS is more powerful and a technologically superior facility which will play an important role in the field of scientific and engineering applications such as quantum mechanics, climate research, oil and gas exploration, molecular modelling, weather forecasting, spacecraft aerodynamics, computational systems biology and detonation simulations including the handling of large databases using Artificial Intelligence (AI) models. The IIT Guwahati has a large HPC user base already involved in solving many crucial problems that require more computational resources than that provided by using the existing 250 TF Param Ishan supercomputer at our computer centre,� said Dr TG Sitharam, Director of IIT Guwahati.

The institute will organise training courses to popularise the use and applications of supercomputers in the Northeastern region and other major missions of the Government of India.

�The IIT Guwahati is also planning to link this facility with our new interdisciplinary master programme on data sciences jointly initiated by Electronics & Electrical Engineering (EEE), Computer Science & Engineering (CSE), and Mathematics departments,� he said.

C-DAC Pune will install the supercomputing facility using the build approach of NSM at IIT Guwahati, which will provide necessary data centre space, power with backup, cooling, among other things, for the facility.

This new hybrid supercomputing system will not only boost the HPC usages and research environment in the institute but also enhance the research capability of the North East, since around 40 per cent of the compute power will be allocated to the external users as per the guidelines approved by the NSM-TAC. This also aligns with the policy of IIT Guwahati to build a �Network of Excellence� among the institutes of Northeastern region, said Dr Sitharam.

The IIT Guwahati has been connected through dual redundant NKN connectivity with 10Gbps bandwidth and already has another supercomputer �Param-Ishan� of 250 TF computing power, which was inaugurated in September 2016. This facility has been extensively used by the faculty and researchers of the institute to solve complex problems in the field of Chemical Engineering, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Biotechnology, Quantum High Energy Physics, Cosmology, Molecular Dynamics, Nanotechnology and Environment. Software like GROMACS, NAMD, WRF, LAMPPS, COMSOL, Ansys, OPENFOAM, and GERRIS are available in the system for various uses.

Prior to the �Param-Ishan�, the IIT Guwahati was an active partner for the GARUDA Grid Computing project, India�s national grid computing initiative, which was a CDAC programme funded by the Department of Information Technology to deploy a distributed, networked infrastructure for universities, research laboratories, industry and the government throughout India. The NSM envisages empowering the national academic and research and development institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.

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