We are living in the digital age. It is the age of superfast super-efficient super computers and stepping shoulder to shoulder with the rest of world, India has unveiled its fastest supercomputer with multi-petaflops of speed – Pratyush.
On Monday, the Union Minister of Science and Technology Harsh Vardhan, launched India’s fastest and first multi-petaflops supercomputer dedicated to serve just India. Pratyush, which means the Sun, is a High Performance Computing (HPC) facility has been established at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), Pune at a cost of Rs 450 Crore. So Pratyush is basically an array of computers which can deliver a peak power of 6.8 petaflops. One petaflop is a unit used to reflect the speed of computers, and one petaflop is equal to a million billion floating point operations per second. In easier language, it is crazy amount of speed and it is one hell of a computing device.
The main task Pratyush will perform is improving weather and climate forecasts, dedicated to India. Pratyush’s contribution in petaflops will be a booster benefit for India since a huge number of people depend on agriculture and agricultural trading – hence, weather decides the economic growth of India. Vardhan said that Pratyush will help India to get better weather forecasts from next monsoon season and the number of farmers receiving weather information from IMD will increase up to 80% in next two years. Statistically, the number of farmers receiving text messages about weather forecast is 24 million and the government hopes that Pratyush will help in rising it to 45 million by 2019.
Pratyush will also help in better forecast of extreme weather conditions like tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes, lightening, flood, drought – everything. IITM claims that Pratyush will be the fourth fastest supercomputer in the whole world, dedicated to weather and climate forecast after Japan, USA and the United Kingdom. Introduction of Pratyush will also push India’s position in the Top 500 supercomputer lists to 30s from 300s rank – tenfold improvement. Pratyush is certainly a huge step into futuristic supercomputing technology.