Articles

CSIR initiatives in High Performance Computing in India

by R. P. Thangavelu, Vidyadhar Y. Mudkavi  & P. Seshu

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) is a premier R&D organization in India whose geographical spread extends over the whole country while its scientific spread touches virtually all fields of science and technology including aerospace, biology, chemistry, earth sciences, engineering and physical sciences etc.

CSIR has 37 laboratories, 4 units and several extension centres. CSIR Centre for Mathematical Modelling and Computer Simulation (C-MMACS) is located in Bangalore and was started in the year 1988. One of the mandates of C-MMACS is to provide HPC access to the scientific workforce of CSIR which is nearly 4500 strong.

The early HPC initiatives began in the CSIR National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL) with the installation of Univac computer in the year 1984 prior to the establishment of C-MMACS. By 1994 the Univac system was retired and C-MMACS established the first supercomputer of CSIR: Convex C3820 with two vector processors and 240 Mflops speed. From then on, the HPC capability has largely been concentrated in C-MMACS and has grown over the years at a steady rate. In the year 2005, CSIR IGIB established a compute cluster which was the fastest in CSIR and second best in India. Apart from this, all major HPC infrastructure is being planned, installed and operated by C-MMACS for CSIR. By October 2012, C-MMACS will have India's fastest supercomputer rated at 300 Teraflops sustained on HPL. This is a major leap from earlier installation of 133 Teraflops system by CRL, India. With CSIR's vision to embrace simulation and data centric science, C-MMACS is presently engaged in planning for state-of-the-art high performance computing system during the 12th Five Year Plan (2012-17).
The application environment in C-MMACS HPC facility is rich with in-house developed, open source and commercial software. Some of the key applications include CFD (primarily in-house), weather and climate (MOM, WRF), chemistry, material sciences and molecular modelling.

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