India has manufactured supercomputers instead of procuring them from abroad, said Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology on Thursday.
Two computers are already functional at IIT-BHU and IIT-Kharagpur (1.6 Petaflops), while the third will be assembled at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Pune by the end of the week.
Speaking to reporters in Delhi, Mr. Sharma said that the project was worth Rs. 4,500 crore and it is being implemented in three phases.
Under phase one, the initial plan was to buy three computers and build three. However, the purchase was delayed, leading to increased costs, which prompted DST to go for a “build” model with more integration and focus on indigenization, a senior scientist said.
Accordingly, the Center for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) requested the proposal and a company procured the material for the supercomputer.
C-DAC is also credited with building the first supercomputer param in India.
“The original plan was to import supercomputers, but the last three years give us confidence that we can start making them ourselves. So the new direction is that six supercomputers are being built in India,” he said.
Mr. Sharma said that under phase one, integration and assembly is being done at the motherboard level.
Mr. Sharma said that the second phase would kickstart next year and that most parts of the country would be assembled and integrated except for chips.
Mr. Sharma said, “Under Phase III, we are building your supercomputer, excluding chips.”
With each step, the level of indigenization will increase.
Elaborating on the import of chips, he said it would be designed within the country.
In 2015, the government approved the National Supercomputing Mission under which it was envisaged to have supercomputers at various institutes across the country to facilitate research involving high-power computing.
The plan has a total of 70 petaflops and 40-60 supercomputers depending on location and capacity.