PARAM is a series of supercomputers designed and assembled by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) in Pune, India. PARAM means "supreme" in the Sanskrit language, whilst also creating an acronym for "PARAllel Machine". As of November 2020 the latest and fastest machine in the series is the PARAM Siddhi AI which ranks 63rd in world with an Rpeak of 5.267 petaflops.
C-DAC was created in November 1987, originally as the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing Technology (C-DACT). This was in response to issues purchasing supercomputers from foreign sources. The Indian Government decided to try and develop indigenous computing technology.
The PARAM 8000 was the first machine in the series and was built from scratch. A prototype was benchmarked at the 1990 Zurich Super-computing Show: it demonstrated that India had the second most powerful, publicly-demonstrated , supercomputer in the world after the United States.
A 64-node machine was delivered in August 1991. Each node used Inmos T800/T805 transputers. A 256-node machine had had a theoretical performance of 1GFLOPS, however in practice had a sustained performance of 100-200MFLOPS. PARAM 8000 was a distributed memory MIMD architecture with a reconfigurable interconnection network.
The PARAM 8000 was noted to be 28 times more powerful than the Cray X-MP that the government originally requested, for the same $10 million cost quoted for it. 
PARAM 8600 was an improvement over PARAM 8000. In 1992 C-DAC realised its machines were underpowered and wished to integrate the newly released Intel i860 processor. Each node was created with one i860 and four Inmos T800 transputers. The same PARAS programming environment was used for both the PARAM 8000 and 8600; this meant that programs were portable. Each 8600 cluster was noted to be as powerful as 4 PARAM 8000 clusters.
The PARAM 9000 was designed to be merge cluster processing and massively parallel processing computing workloads. It was first demonstrated in 1994. The design was changed to be modular so that newer processors could be easily accommodated. Typically a system used 32–40 processors, however it could be scaled up to 200 CPUs using the clos network topology. The PARAM 9000/SS was the SuperSPARC II processor variant, the PARAM 9000/US used the UltraSPARC processor, and the PARAM 9000/AA used the DEC Alpha.
The PARAM 10000 was unveiled in 1998 as part of C-DAC's second mission. PARAM 10000 used several independent nodes, each based on the Sun Enterprise 250 server; 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. Exported to Russia and Singapore.
PARAM Padma (Lotus in Sanskrit) was introduced in December 2002. It had a peak speed of 1024 GFLOPS (about 1 TFLOPS). The machine used IBM POWER4 processors. PARAM Padma was the first Indian machine ranked on a worldwide supercomputer list.
PARAM Yuva (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 unveiled on 8 February 2013. It was created in three months at a cost of ₹160 million (US$2 million). It performs at a peak of 524 TFLOPS, about 10 times faster than the present facility, and will consume 35% less energy as compared to the existing facility. According to CDAC, the supercomputer can deliver sustained performance of 360.8 TFLOPS on the community standard LINPACK benchmark. It is the first Indian supercomputer achieving more than 500 teraflops.
It is a supercomputer offering a computational power of 850 TeraFlop with 1 PetaByte storage capacity. It is one of the supercomputers built in India under NSM, co-funded by Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and Department of Science and Technology. Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) and Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, are steering this mission. 'PARAM Brahma' is supported by a first-of-its-kind cooling system called direct contact liquid available in India. This cooling system makes effective use of thermal conductivity of liquids, namely water, in maintaining the temperature of the system during operations. As of 2020 it is available at IISER Pune.
Siddhi-AI is a high performance computing-artificial intelligence (HPC-AI) and by far the fastest supercomputer developed in India with an Rpeak of 5.267 PFlops and 4.6 PFlops Rmax (Sustained). Artificial intelligence aids research in advanced materials, computational chemistry & astrophysics, health care system, flood forecasting and applications related to COVID-19 through faster simulations, medical imaging and. genome sequencing. In November 2020, PARAM Siddhi-AI ranked 63rd among most powerful supercomputers in the world. It is built on the NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD reference architecture networking along with C-DAC’s indigenously developed HPC-AI engine, software frameworks and cloud platform.
|PARAM 8000||1991||64||Inmos T800 Transputers, Distributed Memory MIMD|
|PARAM 8600||256||Intel i860||5 GFLOPS|
|PARAM 9900/SS||32 to 200||SuperSPARC II, clos network|
|PARAM 9900/US||32 to 200||UltraSPARC, clos network|
|PARAM 9900/AA||32 to 200||DEC Alpha, clos network|
|PARAM 10000||1998||160||Sun Enterprise 250, 400Mhz UltraSPARC UltraSPARC II processor||6.4 GFLOPS|
|PARAM Padma||2003||1TB storage, 248 IBM Power4 – 1GHz, IBM AIX 5.1L, PARAMNet||1024 GFLOPS|
|PARAM Yuva||2008||4608 cores, Intel 73XX – 2.9 GHz, 25 to 200 TB, PARAMnet 3||38.1 to 54 TFLOPS|
|PARAM Yuva II||2013||524 TFLOPS|
|PARAM Kanchenjunga||2016||15 TFLOPS|
|PARAM SHAVAK||2016||3.8 TFLOPS|
|PARAM ISHAN||2016||300 Terabits capacity||250 TFLOPS|
|PARAM SHIVAY||2019||833 TFLOPS|
|PARAM Brahma||2019||1PB storage||0.85 PFLOPS|
|PARAM Siddhi-AI||2020||Nvidia DGX SuperPOD based networking architecture, HPC-AI engine software frame works and cloud platform from C-DAC||5.267 PFLOPS (Peak)|
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 was a full-duplex network. It was first used in PARAM 10000.
PARAMNet II, introduced with PARAM Padma, is capable of 2.5 Gbit/s while working full-duplex. It supports interfaces like Virtual Interface Architecture and Active messages. It uses 8 or 16 port SAN switches.
PARAMNet-3, used in PARAM Yuva and PARAM Yuva-II, is next generation high performance networking component for building supercomputing systems. PARAMNet-3 consists of tightly integrated hardware and software components. The hardware components consist of Network Interface Cards (NIC) based on CDAC's fourth generation communication co-processor "GEMINI", and modular 48-port Packet Routing Switch "ANVAY". The software component "KSHIPRA" is a lightweight protocol stack designed to exploit capabilities of hardware and to provide industry standard interfaces to the applications. Other application areas identified for deployment of PARAMNet-3 are storage and database applications.
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.
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