- India will unveil 18 new petaFLOP supercomputers for weather forecasting in 2023.
- Presently India gives forecasts with a 12-kilometre resolution. The new supercomputer will improve it to six-kilometre resolution.
- The ministry of Earth Sciences aims to achieve one-kilometre resolution forecasts.
- The new supercomputer is expected to improve weather forecasts at the block level.
- It will help weather scientists give higher resolution ranges of the forecast, predict cyclones with more accuracy and better lead time.
- Lead time is the difference between a phenomenon being forecast and actually occurring.
How many FLOPs can a computer achieve?
- Modern computing systems, such as CPUs (Central Processing Units) and GPUs (Graphics Processing Units), are designed to perform multiple operations simultaneously, using parallel processing techniques.
- The parallelism significantly increases the number of FLOPs a system can achieve within a given time frame.
- Over the years, hardware has become more efficient, exponentially increasing computing power.
- In 2008, a supercomputer was able to break what was then called “the petaFLOPS barrier,” when the IBM Roadrunner shocked the world with an astounding peak performance of 1.105 petaFLOPS.
- Currently, the world’s fastest computer in terms of PFLOPs is the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Frontier, or OLCF-5 with the capability to touch a peak performance of 1,685.65.
Are FLOPs the only metric to judge a computer’s performance?
- FLOPs is not the only factor determining the performance of a computing system.
- Memory bandwidth, latency, and other architectural features also play significant roles.
- However, FLOPs provide a valuable baseline for comparing the computational capabilities of different systems.
- Is India already using petaFLOPs computers for weather forecasting?
- ‘Mihir’, a 2.8 petaflop supercomputer and ‘Pratyush’, a 4.0 petaflop supercomputer were launched in 2018.
- They will be decommissioned once the new supercomputer is unveiled.
- While NCMRWF will be allocated eight PFLOPs computing power, the remaining 10 PFLOPs will go to IITM.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB