Supercomputer – UPSC Prelims

What is a Supercomputer?
  • A supercomputer is a computer that performs at or near the currently highest operational rate for computers.
  • Generally, PETAFLOP is a measure of a Supercomputer’s processing speed and can be expressed as a thousand trillion floating point operations per second.
  • FLOPS (floating point operations per second) are typically used to measure the performance of a computer’s processor.
  • Using floating-point encoding, extremely long numbers can be handled relatively easily.
  • Applications: Supercomputers are primarily designed to be used in enterprises and organizations that require massive computing power. For example: weather forecasting, scientific research, intelligence gathering and analysis, data mining etc.
  • Globally, China has the maximum number of supercomputers and maintains the top position in the world, followed by the US, Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland and the United Kingdom.
  • India’s first supercomputer was PARAM 8000.
  • PARAM Shivay, the first supercomputer assembled indigenously, was installed in IIT (BHU), followed by PARAM Shakti, PARAM Brahma, PARAM Yukti, PARAM Sanganak at IIT-Kharagpur, IISER, Pune, JNCASR, Bengaluru and IIT Kanpur respectively.
  • In 2020, PARAM Siddhi, the High-Performance Computing-Artificial Intelligence (HPC-AI) supercomputer, achieved global ranking of 62nd in Top 500 most powerful supercomputer systems in the world.