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National Knowledge Network

India is fast expanding its supercomputer facilities and developing the capacity to manufacture its own supercomputers in the country. The National Supercomputing Mission (NSM) envisages empowering our national academic and R&D institutions spread over the country by installing a vast supercomputing grid comprising of more than 70 high-performance computing facilities.Part of this is being imported from abroad and part built indigenously.While in Phase I, 30 percent value addition is done in India that has been scaled up to 40 percent in Phase II.These supercomputers will also be networked on the National Supercomputing grid over the National Knowledge Network (NKN).

  • The NKN is another programme of the government which connects academic institutions and R&D labs over a high speed network.
  • The Mission also includes development of highly professional High Performance Computing (HPC) aware human resource for meeting challenges of development of these applications.
  • The Mission would be implemented and steered jointly by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and Department of Electronics and Information Technology (DeitY) at an estimated cost of Rs.4500 crore over a period of seven years.
  • Completion in of Phase II of NSM in September 2021 will take the country’s computing power to 16 Petaflops (PF).
  • Phase III, initiated this year, will take the computing speed to around 45 Petaflops.
  • This will include three systems of 3 PF each and one system of 20PF as a national facility.

Objectives Of National Knowledge Network

  • To make India one of the world leaders in Supercomputing and to enhance India’s capability in solving grand challenge problems of national and global relevance
  • To empower our scientists and researchers with state-of-the-art supercomputing facilities and enable them to carry out cutting-edge research in their respective domains
  • To minimize redundancies and duplication of efforts, and optimize investments in supercomputing
  • To attain global competitiveness and ensure self-reliance in the strategic area of supercomputing technology
  • A new dimension has now been added in India’s march towards leadership position in supercomputing with the convergence of High-Performance Computing (HPC) and Artificial Intelligence (AI).
  • A 200 AI PF Artificial Intelligence supercomputing system has been created and installed in C-DAC, which can handle incredibly large-scale AI workloads increasing the speed of computing-related to AI several times.
  • PARAM Siddhi – AI, the high-performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer, has achieved global ranking of 62 in TOP 500 most powerful supercomputer systems in the world, released on 16th November 2020.
  • Param Shivaythe first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by Param Shakti and Param Brahma at IIT-Kharagpur and IISER, Pune, respectively.
  • India has developed an Indigenous server(Rudra), which can meet the High-Performance Computing (HPC) requirements of all governments and PSUs.
  • This is the first time that a server system was made in India, along with the full software stack developed by C-DAC.

Pratyush and Mihir in National Knowledge Network

  • Pratyush and Mihir are the supercomputers established at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and National Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF), Noida respectively.
  • As of January 2018, Pratyush and Mihir are the fastest supercomputer in India with a maximum speed of 6.8 petaFlops.

Do you know?

  • The supercomputer is any of a class of extremely powerful computers.
  • The term is commonly applied to the fastest high-performance systems available at any given time.

Distinguishing Features

  • Unlike conventional computers, they usually have more than one CPU (central processing unit).
  • Most supercomputers have a very large storage capacity, as well as a very fast input/output capability.
  • Still another distinguishing characteristic of supercomputers is their use of vector arithmetic—i.e., they are able to operate on pairs of lists of numbers rather than on mere pairs of numbers.

What is FLOPS?

  • Floating-point operations per second, or FLOPS, is the unit of measurement that calculates the performance capability of a supercomputer.
  • One petaFLOPS is equal to one thousand teraFLOPS.
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