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Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)

Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)

C-DAC — HIGH TECH ROAD TO DEVELOPMENT ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT

  • The Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC) was established in March 1988 as a scientific society of the Department of electronics & Information Technology (Deity).
  • It is primarily a research and development institution involved in the design, development and deployment of advanced IT-based solutions.
  • The two thrust areas of its first decade were supercomputing and Indian Language Computing. Over the years C- DAC has diversified its activities to address the requirements in various areas — financial and capital market simulation and modelling, networks and Internet Software, health care, e-governance, and artificial intelligence.

NEW C-DAC: C-DAC MK-II

  • In February 2003, the government announced the merger of the electronics Research and Development Centre of India (ER&DCI), the National Centre for Software Technology (NCST), the centre for Electronic Design and Technology India (CEDTI) with C-DAC.
  • The restructured C-DAC was expected to offer economies of scale and avoid duplication of work.
  • As an effect, the enlarged C-DAC has become a major R&D player, with an asset base of around Rs.220 crore. The inevitable overlap in responsibilities has been largely adjusted after merger.
  • The “C-DAC MK-11” is ready to address more challenging tasks warranted by its new human and infrastructural resources.            Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)

C-DAC – ITS VARIOUS MISSIONS

  • The C-DAC was started to fulfil need of indigenous supercomputing technology after IISc’s (Indian Institute of Science) abortive attempt to purchase one of the leading American Supercomputer, the Cray, purely for academic research.
  • The earlier Supercomputing projects were for in-house research and rarely given to captive departments or institutions.
  • It was the C-DAC that worked towards techno commercial success and found dozens of buyers in India and abroad for its supercomputer-PARAM, Sanskrit for supreme.

FIRST MISSION

  • It was aimed at creating a 1-gigaflop machine — that is billion mathematical calculations per second.
  • To achieve this, C-DAC created a 256 node parallel computing design and used the most popular chip for such applications, the transporter.
  • Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) was then the hot new architecture for supercomputing, where separate but identical units worked simultaneously in parallel.
  • The first Param 8000 machine beefed up with Intel’s 860 Microchips to create the enhanced Param 8600 with development of superspare chip C-DAC upgraded Param 900 to 5 Gflops.

SECOND MISSION

  • It was launched in 1993 for period five years aiming for 100 Gflop machine, the Param-I0000.
  • Its engineers designed and built their own communication co-processor and also created own communication and inter-connecting hardware named ParamNet.
  • C-DAC established National Supercomputing Facility in Pune, with Param 10000 and its variant Param Ananth and invited researchers from dozens of scientific institutions.  Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)
  • This move paid rich dividend, with its applications in seismic data processing, structural Mechanics, Molecular Modelling, Weather Forecasting and for emerging science of genetic mapping.

THIRD MISSION [Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)]

  • It was launched in 1999 with short time span of three and half years. It was aimed at developing a teraflop machine — (Trillion floating point operations a second).
  • The current super-computing architectures are based on ‘cluster architecture’ where hundreds of individual computers, all strung together to create a giant system.
  • C-DAC adapted to this change for its teraflop platform, the Parma Padma. The Teasdale Supercomputing facility within C-DAC knowledge Park in Bangalore was dedicated to Nation in April 2003. It took India for first time into the ranking of world’s Top 500 supercomputers. It was ranked 171st.
  • The next major step in next four years is faster computers but linked to a grid. The new area of Grid Computing is being explored in Prototype Grid Computing initiative (GARUDA).

CURRENT FOCUS OF C-DAC PROGRAMME

It is true that C-DAC was a national initiative in supercomputing and was known for its pioneering role in Indian language computing.

But over the years, the core competencies of C-DAC have widened in tune with progress in technology and national needs. Its R&D activities include:

  • Applied Artificial Intelligence (AAI) and Speech Processing.
  • Power Electronics.
  • Embedded Systems and VLSI Design
  • Cyber Security
  • Broadband and Wireless and Internet Technologies
  • Geometrics, Health Informatics
  • Software technologies, Linux, Multimedia, Graphics, Database Technologies
  • E-Governance, ICT for digital divide
  • E-learning       Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC)

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SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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