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        The Indian SuperComputer : PARAM 10000


            Indian computer scientists seem to have acquired just the right kind of chip on
            their shoulders with the development of the Param-10000 supercomputer which
            was unveiled over the past weekend.

            For this 100 Giga-Flops ('flops' indicating the number of floating point operations
            per second) supercomputer — capable of performing a 100 billion mathematical
            operations by the time you count one—heralds India's entry into the exclusive
            club of a handful of supercomputing nations. The achievement is all the more
            remarkable since it will effectively dampen the enthusiasm of some American
            policy-makers to bring subcontinental supercomputing skills under heel with a raft
            of restrictions issued by the US State Department. Washington's regulations,
            which came into effect last month, ostensibly sought to prevent the 'misuse' of
            US-built supercomputers in India, China, Russia, Pakistan, and Israel for military
            purposes. Indeed, the State Department has inadvertently admitted that the new
            rules — drawn up so diligently by the US Export Control Administration—will
            have to face strong displeasure from these countries which may resent American
            attempts to usher in a new form of "scientific colonialism".

            Washington had earlier sought to cramp India's supercomputing style in 1991
            when the Bush administration enforced a capacity ceiling of 900 million theoretical
            operations per second (MTOPS) on any US machine sold to India. New Delhi's
            response, of course, was to spur the Centre for Development of Advanced
            Computing (C-DAC) to come up with the powerful Param series of
            supercomputers, weakening the American monopoly of the Indian market for
            high-end systems. And now India can be proud of having achieved
            self-sufficiency in supercomputing with the development of the
            Param-10000—probably the most powerful machine of its kind in the developing
            world, with applications in areas as diverse as engineering, industry, business,
            medicine, and astrophysics. Its 100 Giga-Flop open frame architecture ensures a
            scalable potential of an astounding level of computing power, a technological
            capability currently possessed only by the US and Japan, and yet to be
            developed in Europe.

            Courtesy : The Hindustan Times Dt 31st March 1998