India's Tata Group has catapulted India into a new league by launching Asia's Fastest Supercomputer named "Eka" which means number Uno in sanskrit.
The supercomputer at Computational Research Laboratory(CRL), a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd., has been adjudged fourth fastest supercomputer according to Top 500 supercomputer list, the International Conference for High Performance Computing.
"Eka" has been developed jointly by CRL and Hewlett Packard. The system has peak performance of 170 teraflops(Trillion Floating Point Operations) and sustained performance of 117.9 teraflops as LINPACK benchmark. The system has 1800 nodes. It has been developed using HP's Cluster platform 3000 BL460C system. It uses quad core clovertown processors from Intel.
It has incorporated CLOS architecture and uses fibre based infiniband interconnect technologies. It has Linux Operating System. The cost of the machine is $30 million wholly financed by Tata Sons Ltd. It uses 14,240 processor cores.
CRL has 2.5 MW captive power installed for "Eka" at pune. 20% of the staff at CRL comprises of PhDs. CRL was incorporated in February 2006 and its facility is in Pune spread over 4,000 sq ft area. The company plans to increase its staff strength from 60 to 90 by the fourth quarter of this year.
The IBM's Blue gene has been adjudged as fastest supercomp in the world with performance of 478 teraflops which is more than three times that of "Eka". The second fastest machine is also from IBM blue gene range wih speed of 167.3 teraflops installed in Germany. The number three system is from New Mexico Computing Applications Center (NMCAC) with speed of 126.9 teraflops.
The second ranked supercomputer in India, rated 58th in the Top500 list is at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore. Others are ranked 152, 158, 179, 336, 339,340 and 371.
Ratan Tata, Chairman of the Tata Group said:
"High performance computing solutions have an ever-increasing role in the scientific and new technological space the world over. The Tata Group has supported this development activity and is extremely proud of the team that has developed and built this supercomputer, which is now ranked as the world's fourth fastest. I am sure this supercomputer and its successor systems will make a major contribution to India's ongoing scientific and technological initiatives."
S Ramadorai, chairman of CRL and CEO and MD of Tata Consultancy Services said:
"CRL's supercomputer, EKA, has put India at the forefront of high performance and supercomputing technology globally. EKA gives us the ability to address applications in multiple disciplines including software development and research, The successful launch of the supercomputer has been driven by an exemplary team at CRL working collaboratively with scientists across the Tata Group."
Mr. Balu Doraisamy, Managing Director, HP India Sales said:
“HP is honored to partner with Tata CRL, a leading name in the field of High Performance Computing, from the inception stages of the project, all the way through its production. We are proud to work collaboratively with Tata CRL to take forward their vision of being a global leader in HPC, building scalable and cutting-edge supercomputer architectures while making affordable research in India a reality.”
In the near term, CRL is targeting and developing applications such as neural simulation, molecular simulation, computational fluid dynamics, crash simulation, and digital media animation and rendering. The long-term application areas would include: financial modelling, seismic modelling, geophysical signal processing, weather prediction, medical imaging, nanotechnology, personalised drug discovery, real-time rendering, and virtual worlds among others. CRL also intends to offer high-performance and supercomputer system integration, research, applications and software services to its customers around the globe in the area of high-performance computing.
EKA can be applied in the fields of automotive engineering (cross simulation), drug discovery and nanotechnology, according to a company presentation.