Northeast gets its fastest supercomputer in Sikkim

Built at a cost of over Rs 2 crore, northeast has got its fastest supercomputer with a peak computing power of 15 Teraflops. Housed at the National Institute of Technology Sikkim’s campus, near Gangtok, the supercomputer, ‘PARAM Kanchenjunga’ is a collaboration between Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and the Ministry of Communications and IT.

“PARAM Kanchenjunga not only shares the distinct privilege of being the fastest supercomputer in the NE region, but it would also be the fastest supercomputer among all the NITs,” NIT Sikkim director Prof Arun Samaddar said.

The machine equipped with latest Intel-based processor and accelerator technologies with a peak computing power of 15 Teraflops will give a major boost to research at all levels.

“The entire system cost us over Rs 2 crore, while the related infrastructure to house it including electrical and air-conditioning has cost us Rs 50 lakh,” he said.

Hemant Darbari, Executive Director, C-DAC, Pune, said supercomputing has become the buzz word for the industry, which has realised its eventual benefits and impact on all aspects of the economy.

“It is a fact that there are only a handful of countries including India who have developed capabilities in utilising this technology to solve grand challenges which are more or less out of bounds for serial computing,” he said.

Using the new machine, two faculty members of NIT are already studying how to increase the efficiency of fuel movement through long oil pipelines such as from Middle East to India. Another project deals with the measurement of ocean surface temperature for weather forecasting through simulation.

Besides, a few student projects have also started running on the new supercomputer like an app for instant information system regarding road condition for the tourists.