June 24, 2014

Ashoka - first supercomputing hub for Indian Agriculture Setup in 2014

What is so special about Ashoka Super computer?
Ashoka Super Computing Hub Full name: Advanced Supercomputing Hub for Omics Knowledge in Agriculture.
ASHOKA is the name of India's first supercomputing hub for Indian Agriculture has been established at Centre for Agricultural Bioinformatics (CABin). ASHOKA is a Super-Computing hub of computational biology and bioinformatics to support biotechnological research in agriculture. This hub consists of hybrid hardware architecture of Linux and Windows based clusters, distributed over six national institutions across the country  to form National Agricultural Bioinformatics Grid (NABG).

Purpose of Ashoka Supercomputer:
To identify new gens to improve Agriculture productivity.
Helps scientists is to understand the metabolic pathways easily.
The supercomputing hub is poised to bridge the gap between genomic information and knowledge by utilizing statistical and computational sciences.

This hub connects to supercomputing systems to form a National Agricultural Bioinformatics Grid that includes: 
dvanced Supercomputing Hub for Omics Knowledge in Agriculture.

a) National Bureaux of Plant Genetic Resources (NBPGR) in New Delhi, and Lucknow
b) National Bureaux of Agriculturally Important Microbes (NBAIM) in Mau, and
c) National Bureaux of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII) in Bangalore.

Some points:
  • SAGA-220 - an acronym for Supercomputer for Aerospace with GPU Architecture-220
  • Seymour Cray built first super computer called the CDC 1604 (Control Data Corporation). He is known as the 'father of supercomputing'

But what is a supercomputer?
It's a computer that tries to do a voluminous job -- like analysing several trillion data points -- in quick time. A top-of-the-line supercomputer, today, would be like two million laptops working in sync. They share work and exchange information in real time via high-capacity bandwidth.

What kind of problems does it solve?
Anything that is calculation-intensive. Take oil exploration. It costs a company Rs. 50 million to Rs 150 million to dig a well onshore and Rs. 5000 million in the deep seas. After spending all this money, it could still not find any oil. So, before digging an oil well, geologists study an area and generate several million data points on metrics like temperature, density and pressure. Supercomputers can process this data for preliminary findings, helping companies decide whether and where to dig.
The utility of a supercomputer is endless. It can be used to forecast the weather (crunching 250 million data points every day); to simulate an aircraft wing's performance when flying over land, sea and ice-caps; to compute the structure and properties of chemical compounds during drug discovery; to do stress tests on a financial system; to find out the possibility of life on other planets.

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