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India-made supercomputers out of global `Top 500’

Thursday 23 June 2005, by PARTHASARATHY*Anand

BANGALORE: For the first time in recent years there is no made-in-India machine in the semi-annual ranking of the world’s ``Top 500’’ supercomputers. Constantly improving performance has shifted the entry point into the 500 fastest computers to 1 tera flop per second (TFLOP/s) or faster. A tera flop is a trillion, that is a million million, computations or floating point operations per second.

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A file photo of PARAM 10000

`Desi’ machines such as the Chennai-based Institute of Mathematical Sciences’ cluster-computer ``Kabru’’ or the Pune-based Centre for Development of Advanced Computing’s (CDAC) ``Param’’ were short of the teraflop mark when they made the Top 500 and have not upgraded their systems significantly since then.

However, India still plays host to 8 U.S.-made supercomputers in the list released jointly on Wednesday by Mannheim University in Germany and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory with the University of Tennessee, both in the U.S.: Of these a 2 teraflop Hewlett Packard cluster is housed in the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology, Delhi, while the others are HP or IBM machines operated by private IT players and geophysical exploration companies.

The world’s fastest computer remains the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s ``BlueGene/L’’ made by IBM, which clocked 136.8 TFLOP/s.

The new number 2 is another IBM BlueGene at its own Thomas J. Watson Research Centre in New York State (91.2 TFLOP/s) followed by the SGI system for NASA (51.87 TFLOP/s).

The fourth ranked is the first outside the U.S.- the NEC Earth Simulator in Japan (35.86 TFLOP/s).

More than half the top 500 supercomputers are made by IBM, but chip maker Intel is increasingly into what is called the ’heavy iron’ end of computing: 333 of the world’s 500 fastest computers have ``Intel inside.’’

See online : The Hindu

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