Supercomputers Current Affairs - 2020

Mihir: High performance computing facility inaugurated at Noida

Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) has inaugurated high performance computer system (HPC) or supercomputer Mihir (meaning sun) at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), Noida.

The HCP will provide facility for improving weather/climate forecasts. It is country’s largest HPC facility in terms of peak capacity and performance. It also propelled India’s ranking to Top 30 in the list of HPC facilities in world.

Key Facts

With this, MoES has acquired HPC facility total of 6.8 Peta Flops (PF) which has been installed at two of its constituent units: 4.0 PF HPC facility named ‘Pratyush’ at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune and 2.8 Peta Flops facility at NCMRWF, Noida. It also improved India rank to 4th position after Japan, UK and US interms of dedicated HPC resources for weather/climate forecasts.

Mihir HPC facility will improve following services

  • Weather forecasts at block level over India which can predict extreme weather events.
  • High resolution seasonal and extended range forecasts of active and break spells of Monsoon.
  • Very high resolution coupled models for prediction of cyclones with more accuracy and lead time.
  • Ocean state forecasts including marine water quality forecasts at very high resolution.
  • Tsunami forecasts with greater lead time.
  • Air quality forecasts for various cities.
  • Climate projections at very high resolution.

Significance of new HPC facility

  • Help in meeting operational requirements of MoES and also support research and development activities on various problems related to Earth Science.
  • Help MoES in developing several services for societal benefits catering by building state-of-the-art systems for multi-hazard risk reduction from floods/droughts, cyclones, heat/cold waves, earthquakes and tsunamis.

Sunway-TaihuLight: World’s powerful Supercomputer

The 2016 edition of Top500 list of supercomputers has revealed that China’s Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer is the world’s most powerful supercomputer system

Sunway-TaihuLight can perform calculations with processing speed of 124.5 petaflops per second (Pflops). It is world’s first system to surpass 100 petaflops.

This supercomputer has displaced Tianhe-2, an Intel-based Chinese supercomputer that has claimed the top spot in the past six Top500 lists.

About Sunway TaihuLight

  • Sunway TaihuLight supercomputer has been developed by the China’s National Research Centre of Parallel Computer Engineering and Technology (NRCPC).
  • It has been built entirely using processors designed and made in China. It can perform 93 quadrillions calculations per second.
  • It is intended for use in research and engineering including climate, weather, life sciences, advanced manufacturing and data analytics.

Note: One petaflop is equal to one quadrillion sustained floating point operations per second.

Other supercomputers in Top500 list

  • Second position: An Intel-based Chinese Tianhe-2 supercomputer which can perform calculations with processing speed of 33.86 Pflops.
  • Third position: Supercomputer Titan of the US Department of Energy. It has a performance of 17.59 Pflops.
  • Fourth position: Supercomputer It is an IBM BlueGene/Q system installed at DOE’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
  • Fifth position: Supercomputer Fujitsu’s K computer. It has been installed at the RIKEN Advanced Institute for Computational Science (AICS) in Japan.

Top Countries in the list: China (1st position) with 167 super computer systems, US (2nd position) with 165 systems, Japan (3rd position), Germany (4th position) with 26 systems, France (5th position) with 18 systems, Britain (6th position) with 12 systems.

The Top500 list: It is one of the most authoritative and prestigious rankings list of the world’s supercomputers. The list is compiled on the basis of the performance of supercomputers by experts from the US and Germany based on the Linpack benchmark.