IIT-M gets superfast computer system

Vasudha Venugopal
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Global project ranks it 224 out of 500 worldwide

A view of super computer installed at IIT in Chennai on Friday.— Photo: S.S.Kumar
A view of super computer installed at IIT in Chennai on Friday.— Photo: S.S.Kumar

The super cluster — a set of tightly-connected computers that work together — at IIT-Madras has been declared the fastest among all educational institutions in the country.

TOP500, a global project that details the most powerful known computer systems in the world, has ranked the new IBM Virgo Super Cluster at IIT-Madras as the 224th in the top 500.

The other Indian entries ahead of the one at IIT Madras are the machines at an ISRO facility in Mumbai and the CSIR Lab in Bangalore. The cluster worth Rs. 9 crore, which will be put to use from Monday, will enormously increase the speed of computing and accuracy of results of research experiments.

This new system will be available to users, both professors and research scholars, across departments. Users can access it from wherever they are.

Five years ago, the institute was the first IIT to set up a cluster with a computing power of 20 teraflops, but Virgo has a computing power of 97 teraflops.

“It took almost ten months for us to plan this,” said P.B. Sunil Kumar, professor (physics), in-charge, high performance computing. “We planned for a computer that we needed, and that we could use. That it has been declared the fastest is just a bonus for us,” he added.

The cluster will be of great help to various ambitious projects at IIT-Madras.

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