SAGA-2203 is India’s fastest
Indian Space Research Organization has built a new supercomputer with theoretical peak performance of 220 TeraFLOPS (220 Trillion Floating Point Operations per second). “SAGA-2203 (Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220 TeraFLOPS) is housed at the supercomputing facility named as Satish Dhawan Supercomputing Facility located at Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC), Thiruvananthapuram. The new Graphic Processing Unit (GPU) based supercomputer “SAGA-2203 is being used by space scientists for solving complex aerospace problems. Scalable to many PetaFLOPS (1000 TeraFLOPS), the “SAGA-2203 Supercomputer is fully designed and built by VSSC using commercially available hardware, open source software components and in house developments. The system uses 400 NVIDIA Tesla 2070 GPUs and 400 Intel Quad Core Xeon CPUs supplied by WIPRO with a high speed interconnect. With each GPU and CPU providing a performance of 500 GigaFLOPS and 50 GigaFLOPS respectively, the theoretical peak performance of the system amounts to 220 TeraFLOPS. The present GPU system offers significant advantage over the conventional CPU based system in terms of cost, power and space requirements. The total cost of this Supercomputer is about Rs. 14 crores. The system is environmentally green and consumes a power of only 150 kW.
About Supercomputer:Some scientific problems and processes are so complex that we need supercomputing power to tackle them. A supercomputer is a computer that is among the largest, fastest or most powerful of the computers available. The fastest supercomputers operate on the order of more than 200 teraflops. Supercomputers are used to tackle problems that are very complex or problems that would be messy to deal with in the real physical world because they are dangerous. Here are few usages of supercomputers: (a) Climate researchers model Earth’s current and predicted future climate using supercomputers. (b) Astronomers and space scientists use supercomputers to study the Sun and space weather. (c) Scientists use supercomputers to simulate how a tsunami would impact a coastline or a given city. (d) Supercomputers are used to simulate supernova explosions in space. (e) Supercomputers are used to test the aerodynamics of the latest military planes. (f) Supercomputers are being used to model how proteins fold and how that folding might affect people that have Alzheimer’s disease, Cystic Fibrosis and many kinds of cancer. (g) Supercomputers are used to model nuclear explosions, limiting the need for real nuclear testing.
World’s 5 fastest supercomputers:
- Tianhe-1A, owned by the National Supercomputing Centre, China.
- Cray XT5, also known as Jaguar, located at a US government facility in Tennessee.
- Another Chinese system, the Nebulae machine at the National Supercomputing Centre in the southern city of Shenzhen, is at number three.
- Tsubame 2.0, the only Japanese machine in the TOP 10 list.
- Hopper, a Cray XE6 system at DOE’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Centre in California.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its three-ton satellite GSAT-8 from French Guyana (French Guiana is a region of France on the North-East coast of South America). Incidentally, this is one of the largest satellites that India has developed. GSAT-8 was injected into space by European launcher Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket with Japan’s ST-2 spacecraft as co-passenger (Built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Electric Company, ST-2 would be operated by the ST-2 Satellite Ventures joint company of Singapore Telecommunications Ltd (SingTel) and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom Company Ltd). The satellite boasts of 24 transponders, meant to boost television broadcasting, especially Direct To Home services, radio networking and other satellite-based services in India. The payload GAGAN boosts GPS signals over India, sure to benefit airport authorities. Although a completely indigenous satellite, India had to rely on the French Guyana space agency Arianespace for the launch as ISRO’s satellite launch vehicles are only capable of launching 1 Ton or 2 Ton categories satellite. The GSAT-8 was airlifted from Bangalore to French Guyana for its launch where it underwent successful check-up operation before final integration with the launch vehicle.
Important Facts about GSAT-8: (a) GSAT-8 has a lift-off weight of 3,100 kg. (b) ISRO Satellite Centre in Bangalore built it with the payloads coming from Space Applications Centre in Ahmedabad.(c) GSAT-8 will augment available transponder capacity, adding 24 Ku-band transponders to existing kitty.(d) GSAT-8 can be used for telecasting television programmes, beaming telephone-calls, Internet communication, operating ATMs, and navigation. (e) The satellite has 24 high-power transponders in Ku-band that could be used for telecommunication and a GPS-Aided Geo-augmented Navigation (GAGAN) payload. (f) GSAT-8 is expected to be in orbit for 12 years.