The Indian government revealed on Monday that the first of its 70 new supercomputers designed to help advance research in the country will be ready for operation by August 2017.
In March 2015, India's Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved a Rs.4,500-crore project known as the National Supercomputing Mission.
Under the project, the Electronics and Information Technology Department and the Science and Technology Department will lead the development of new supercomputers over the next seven years, which would allow India to become of the one of the foremost nations of the world when it comes to computing power.
As of November 2015, 11 of the new supercomputers in development are part of the 500 most powerful ones in the world. The first of these high-computing machines is being built by the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (C-DAC), the same group that developed "Param," India's very first supercomputer.
Secretary Ashutosh Sharma of the science and technology ministry explained that they face two main challenges if they are to replace regular desktop PCs with supercomputers.
He said that they need to find a solution for power and heat management for supercomputers as these machines need a considerable amount of energy, and to get the right people who can operate them in the future.
The National Supercomputing Mission aims to install a supercomputing grid in India consisting of 70 high-class computing sites. The planned supercomputers are also set to be connected to the government's National Knowledge Network, which links research and development laboratories and various academic organizations in the country through the use of a high-speed network.
Sharma said their focus is to build the hardware needed for the creation of the supercomputers this year. They hope that by the time the mission is completed, they would have the ability to develop and operate the machines on their own.
As of the moment, the Indian government is still negotiating with global vendors to help them build the supercomputers in the country and to train people to operate the machines.