After being denied Cray supercomputers as a result of a technology embargo, India started a program to develop indigenous supercomputers and supercomputing technologies. Supercomputers were considered a double edged weapon capable of assisting in the development of nuclear weapons. For the purpose of achieving self-sufficiency in the field, the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) was set up in 1988 by the then Department of Electronics with Dr. Vijay Bhatkar as its Director. The project was given an initial run of 3 years and an initial funding of ₹ 300,000,000. Because the same amount of money and time was usually expended to purchase a supercomputer from the US. In 1990, a prototype was produced and was benchmarked at the 1990 Zurich Supercomputering Show. It surpassed most other systems, placing India second after US.
The final result of the effort was the PARAM 8000, which was installed in 1991. It is considered India's first supercomputer.
Unveiled in 1991, PARAM 8000 used Inmos T800 transputers. Transputers were a fairly new and innovative microprocessor architecture designed for parallel processing at the time. It was a distributed memory MIMD architecture with a reconfigurable interconnection network. It had 64 CPUs.
PARAM 8600 was an improvement over PARAM 8000. It was a 256 CPU computer. For every four Inmos T800, it employed an Intel i860 coprocessor. The result was over 5 GFLOPS at peak for vector processing. Several of these models were exported.
PARAM 9900/SS was designed to be a MPP system. It used the SuperSPARC II processor. The design was changed to be modular so that newer processors could be easily accommodated. Typically, it used 32-40 processors. But, it could be scaled up to 200 CPUs using the clos network topology. PARAM 9900/US was the UltraSPARC variant and PARAM 9900/AA was the DEC Alpha variant.
In 1998, the PARAM 10000 was unveiled. PARAM 10000 used several independent nodes, each based on the Sun Enterprise 250 server and each such server contained two 400Mhz UltraSPARC II processors. The base configuration had three compute nodes and a server node. The peak speed of this base system was 6.4 GFLOPS. A typical system would contain 160 CPUs and be capable of 100 GFLOPS But, it was easily scalable to the TFLOP range.
PARAM Padma (Padma means Lotus in Sanskrit) was introduced in April 2003. It had a peak speed of 1024 GFLOPS (about 1 TFLOP) and a peak storage of 1 TB. It used 248 IBM Power4 CPUs of 1 GHz each. The operating system was IBM AIX 5.1L. It used PARAMnet II as its primary interconnect. It was the first Indian supercomputer to break the 1 TFLOP barrier.
PARAM Yuva (Yuva means Youth in Sanskrit) was unveiled in November 2008. It has a maximum sustainable speed (Rmax) of 38.1 TFLOPS and a peak speed (Rpeak) of 54 TFLOPS. There are 4608 cores in it, based on Intel 73XX of 2.9 GHz each. It has a storage capacity of 25 TB up to 200 TB. It uses PARAMnet 3 as its primary interconnect.
Param Yuva II
Param Yuva II was made by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing in a period of three months, at a cost of 16 crore (US$3 million), and was unveiled on 8 February 2013. It performs at a peak of 524 teraflops and consumes 35% less energy as compared to Param Yuva. It delivers sustained performance of 360.8 teraflops on the community standard Linpack benchmark, and would have been ranked 62 in the November 2012 ranking list of Top500. In terms of power efficiency, it would have been ranked 33rd in the November 2012 List of Top Green500 supercomputers of the world. It is the first Indian supercomputer achieving more than 500 teraflops.
Param Yuva II will be used for research in space, bioinformatics, weather forecasting, seismic data analysis, aeronautical engineering, scientific data processing and pharmaceutical development. Educational institutes like the Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology can be linked to the computer through the national knowledge network. This computer is a stepping stone towards building the future petaflop-range supercomputers in India.
PARAMnet is a high speed high bandwidth low latency network developed for the PARAM series. The original PARAMnet used an 8 port cascadable non-blocking switch developed by C-DAC. Each port provided 400 Mb/s in both directions (thus 2x400 Mbit/s) as it is was a full-duplex network. It was first used in PARAM 10000.
PARAMnet II, introduced with PARAM Padma, is capable of 2.5 Gb/s while working full-duplex. It supports interfaces like Virtual Interface Architecture and Active messages. It uses 8 or 16 port SAN switches. The grid computing network GARUDA is also based on it.
PARAM supercomputers are used by both public and private operators for various purposes. As of 2008, 52 PARAMs have been deployed, of these 8 are located in Russia, Singapore, Germany and Canada. PARAMs have also been sold to Tanzania, Armenia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Ghana, Myanmar, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
- Rajaraman, V. (1999). Super Computers. Universities Press. p. 75. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "God, Man And Machine". PARAM SUKHADIA India. 1 July 1998. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "India orders review of US supercomputer deal". Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 25 March 2000. "India started supercomputer development in the early eighties after it was denied the technology by the US."
- Beary, Habib (25 April 1999). "India unveils huge supercomputer". BBC News. "India began developing supercomputers in the late 1980s after being refused one by the US."
- Nolan, Janne E. (1994). Global engagement: cooperation and security in the 21st century. p. 532. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Zelkowitz, Marvin V. (1997). Advances in Computers, Volume 44. p. 186. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Abraham; Baets; Köppen (2006). Applied soft computing technologies: the challenge of complexity. Springer. p. 54. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- Ram, B. Computer Fundamentals, Architecture & Organisation. New Age International. pp. 1–20. Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "C-DAC Press Kit: A Success Story". C-DAC: Centre for Development of Advanced Computing. Retrieved 15 September 2011. "PARAM Padma, breaking the teraflop (thousand billion flops) barrier in 2002 with a peak speed of 1 Tflop"
- "Top500: "PARAM Yuva" Cluster (Performance)". Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "PARAM Yuva supercomputer now open to private sector". Indian Express. 26 February 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2011. "With an enhanced storage capacity of 200 TB from 25 TB, a large number of users can use it for data processing and storage at the same time."
- "C-DAC Press Release: Faster PARAM to take on US supercomputer". Retrieved 15 September 2011.
- "C-DAC launches India's fastest supercomputer; becomes first R&D institution in India to cross 500 teraflops milestone". Information Week. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "C-DAC reaffirms India's position on supercomputing map with PARAM Yuva - II". CDAC. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "C-DAC unveils India’s fastest supercomputer". The Times of India. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "India's fastest supercomputer 'Param Yuva II' unveiled". DNA India. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- "C-DAC unveils India's fastest supercomputer Param Yuva II". The Economic Times. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 9 February 2013.
- Singh, Ashok Kumar. Science And Technology For Civil Service. Tata McGraw-Hill Education. p. 216. Retrieved 15 September 2011.