Russian supercomputing company RSC group and the Russian Academy of Sciences have proposed collaboration with India to set up advanced supercomputing facilities that will rival China's Tianhe-2, the world's fastest supercomputer.
"India has many skills for building supercomputers. It is very strong in software," said Alexey Shmelev, co-founder and chief operations officer of RSC group and delegate to the Russian Academy of Sciences. "I am ready to share technology with India. I guess there would not be many players who are willing to do so."
In a letter last month, Boris Shabanov of the Russian Academy of Sciences has invited a delegation from the Indian Institute of Science and the Karnataka government to explore the possibility of a supercomputing centre in Bangalore.
CNR Rao, a Bharat Ratna awardee who heads the scientific advisory council to the prime minister, said it is difficult to assess a potential collaboration right away, but was of the view that "the Chinese are way ahead".
Tianhe-2, developed by China's National University of Defense Technology, retained its position as the world's number one system according to TOP500 project which ranks the most powerful computer systems in the world. It beat Titan, a US supercomputer which briefly held the world speed crown. India's supercomputer Param Yuva-II is ranked at 83 while Russia's Lomonosov supercomputer is ranked at 37.
If the joint cooperation between Russia and India is found viable, it can result in a computing system as big as a basketball court that can perform approximately as many operations per second as several million personal computers.
In 2009, India had taken a huge leap in supercomputing with EKA which was then the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world and fastest in Asia. "But in the next few years, China took over and it has retained its position as the world's number one system," said Vipin Chaudhary, former chief executive of Computational Research Laboratories, a subsidiary of Tata Sons that built the EKA supercomputer.