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Atos Selected As Technology Partner To Build Supercomputers Under India's NSM

The National Supercomputing Mission is being jointly implemented 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.

French IT services firm Atos has been selected to build the supercomputers under India’s Rs 4500 crore National Supercomputing Mission (NSM).

The tender to build these high-performance computers (HPC) had been floated by the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in February this year. This is a three-year contract and Atos would be deploying its energy efficient Direct Liquid Cooled BullSequana supercomputers.

Hemant Darbari, director-general, C-DAC said that the contract was for all three phases of the NSM which would be running simultaneously. “In Phase I, we will be assembling three supercomputers at an outlay of Rs 68 crore. In Phase II, it will be an aggregate of 10 petaflop, but the number of computers is yet to be decided,” he said.

The NSM is divided into two key tracks, build and buy, which are being spearheaded by C-DAC and IISc Bangalore respectively. Atos has won the contract for the ‘build’ part of the NSM where it will partner with C-DAC on all three phases of the project. 

While Phase I involves the assembly of the supercomputers, in Phase II, certain components like the motherboards would be manufactured locally, and in the third phase, the supercomputer would be designed in India by C-DAC. 

In the first phase, IIT-Kharagpur will have a 1.3 petaflop machine and IISER Pune and IIT-BHU will have a 650 teraflop computer each. These would be assembled locally in Chennai by Atos, while it would source the components from France. 

“Work will happen simultaneously on all three phases, but each has different stages of delivery. The deliveries under Phase I will start in the first quarter of next year, while Phase II would be around Q2 or Q3,” said Arvind Bajaj, Vice President and Head Atos Bull India. 

When exactly the first set of supercomputers are delivered will also depend on whether they data centers at the institutes are ready. While C-DAC has already put out a tender for these, the contract is still to be awarded.

Atos has a sizeable presence globally in the high performance computing (HPC) business under the BullSequana brand. 

In June, Atos announced the BullSequana as the most powerful European general-purpose supercomputer with a computing power of 25 petaflops, at the CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission)’s direction of defense applications (CEA/DAM) in France, coming in at number 16 on the recently released Top500 supercomputer rankings. The company has a supercomputer and server design center in Bengaluru, which will work closely with C-DAC on subsequent phases of the project.

The NSM is being jointly implemented 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. 

The NSM was announced three years ago with an intent to propel India higher in the global supercomputer rankings. The aim was to build a grid of 73 supercomputers across academic and research institutes in India, working on a wide range of applications, from weather forecasting to disaster management.

High performance computing is important in order for India to make significant progress in various areas, from weather forecasting to drug discovery to astrophysics and bioinformatics. 

Source: Economic Times Tech

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