India’s ambition to become hardware self-sufficient took a small step forward after the National Center for Advanced Computing Development (CDAC) contracted a local manufacturer to build the Indian-designed servers for a future project. of supercomputer.
The manufacturer is called VVDN Technologies and announced last week that it had been selected to build servers for India’s PARAM supercomputers.
Unfortunately, VVDN, CDAC and other relevant Indian government agencies have not provided any information on which PARAM platforms will use the locally made servers. Two PARAM machines were inaugurated in March 2022: the Ganga at 312 knots, 1.67 petaflop, and the Shakti at 404 knots, 1.6 petaflop.
CDAC plans to build 24 supers and has rolled out 11 so far. VVDN is therefore likely to be very busy in the months and years to come.
But the supers it contributes may not be very super – the Rudra server is a 1U or 2U design that can house Intel’s Cascade Lake Xeons, a pair of GPUs, and use DDR4 RAM.
It’s a basic server – not a screamer that puts India or VVDN at the forefront. The number of nodes involved in India’s past HPC efforts is also not notable by global standards. The contract is therefore unlikely to advance India’s goal of demonstrating that it can serve as an alternative source of offshore server manufacturing capacity for anyone spooked by the recent supply chain hiccups caused by COVID and geopolitics.
The likes of Inspur, Quanta, Dell, HPE and Lenovo won’t see this deal as a substantial threat.
VVDN’s Vice President of Business Development, Nitin Jain, was nevertheless delighted to have won the contract.
“This collaboration with CDAC is a testament to the advancement towards strengthening Indian research and development by doing the indigenous design, development, manufacturing and deployment of cost effective servers which can be called DESIGN and MAKE in INDIA”, he said in a canned statement.
VVDN also manufactures white goods, tablets, and wired and wireless networking kits, including 5G equipment.
The company may soon be very busy with the latter, as India launched an auction for 5G spectrum last week. As of this writing, bidding has reached almost $19 billion and the auction still has a few days to go.
Indian industrial conglomerate Reliance, which operates wireless carrier Jio, has developed a local 5G stack and partnered with Qualcomm for the necessary hardware. ®