Russia and India may be about to join forces in taking on a common adversary: China and its floptastic Tianhe-2 beast which currently sits atop the Top 500 supercomputer list.
Boris Shabanov of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) has invited a group from the Indian Institute of Science and local Karnataka lawmakers to discuss establishing a supercomputer centre in Bangalore, according to the Economic Times.
The plans are apparently still at a nascent stage but already involve Russian supercomputer player RSC.
"India has many skills for building supercomputers. It is very strong in software," co-founder Alexey Shmelev, told the paper. "I am ready to share technology with India. I guess there would not be many players who are willing to do so."
The primary aim of the joint project appears to be to catch China – which has of late managed to pull away with some impressively spec’d machines.
Tianhe-2, unveiled to the world last year by the National University of Defense Technology, retained its position at the summit of the Top500 list thanks to performance of 33.86 petaflop/s on the Linpack benchmark.
In doing so it beat the US effort Titan into second place again, but Russia's Lomonosov supercomputer was ranked at 37 while India’s Param Yuva-II was way down in 83rd.
China also accounts for a growing number of the top supercomputers on the planet. It dominated Asia in the last rankings with 63 systems while Japan stood in second with 28.
There’s more than national pride at stake in developing capabilities for massively parallel computing. There are obvious military implications, not least the work most major powers are doing to crack quantum computing.
China has also set to work the Tinahe-1A on data modelling with a view to better predicting the conditions which lead to the deadly smog which periodically covers large swathes of the country. ®