back to article India to build home-grown supercomputers, from the motherboards up

India’s “Atmanirbhar Bharat” program – a national drive for self sufficiency in just about everything – has added building a supercomputing hardware stack to its to-do list. Minister of state for education, communications and electronics & information technology, Shri Sanjay Dhotre yesterday kicked off the drive by signing a …

  1. Claverhouse Silver badge


    Competition is not always beneficial in life, but the sooner India and other states can free themselves from the monopolies of the Leviathan the better and more wholesome it is. In particular before an extensive copyright/trademark regime is so universally applied as to block all other innovation. I only hope the EU can do the same.

  2. Conundrum1885

    Re. Excellent

    Wasn't there some problem a while back with CPUS (IIRC Xeons) not being allowed to be exported because of some EAR related issue?

    Also think there was also talk of the PS3 being "crippled" by removing some functionality so an adversary couldn't use it for simulation of

    certain classes of physics problems.

    The "Black Hole Machine" owned by DARPA seems to have worked around this by never updating them, and running the units with a custom

    Linux and firmware sanctioned by Sony or so I hear, possibly based on 1.55.

  3. Brian Miller

    Self-sufficiency in everything, blockchain too?

    Yeah right, computers can solve all your ills. Step right up for this patented, or patent-free, elixir medicine! It's the cure for all that ails you. Blockchain included!

    OK, so once they produce their own supercomputers, then what? Has anybody noticed that computers are notorious for not being the right tool to solve a lot of serious problems?

    (Next on the list, collect garden gnomes, something else, profit!)

    1. IGotOut Silver badge

      Re: Self-sufficiency in everything, blockchain too?

      Have you not noticed they never said it would fix all their problems?

      This a tech site, so if the Reg started posting articles about the plans to upgrade their sanitary systems for millions of people, you no doubt would complain it was not IT related.

  4. John Savard

    Two Ways

    It is indeed true that if India needs to have supercomputers urgently, it should buy them off the shelf.

    But it is also true that India needs an indigenous supercomputer capability. That way, India will be able to have as many supercomputers as its people can build, not limited by the willingness of foreigners to buy Indian products so as to give India foreign exchange.

    After all, India, like any other country, wants an economy like that of the United States, Japan, and other Western industrial nations, based on ownership of intellectual property, not one based on exporting resources, or the products of low-paying menial labor.

    How one constructs a world economy with all generals and no privates, of course, is a question... but if India has its proportionate share of the commanding heights of the economy, even if there is also employment for farmers and factory workers and miners in India as well, that would be enough for contentment. Ultimately, that is the goal, for every country on Earth to be equal (as well as free and democratic, and with equality for all ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups within its borders).

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Two Ways

      And made in an Indian Fab, with Indian designed mask-steppers using Indian glass lens, mined from Indian minerals ...etc

      Programmed with an Indian operating system using Indian languages?

      There is a point where developing a national capability goes down a rabbit hole of political pointlessness.

      1. Chris G

        Re: Two Ways

        India is talking about self sufficiency not stupidity, no one country has the resources to be totally inward looking. Even the US had to buy titanium from the Soviet Union during the cold war to build it's SR71s.

        The Legal languages of India are Hindi and English, most official documents and reports from parliament are printed in those two languages as are the majority of research papers, the High Court uses legal English.

        The three top languages in India are only spoken by about a third of the population, the rest speak their own regional/ethnic languages and often one or more others so the government is unlikely to alienate a significant portion of it's population.

  5. MiguelC Silver badge

    Re: "Supercomputers can certainly do that. However The Register wonders if India might not be able to achieve those benefits rather sooner by using off-the-shelf kit rather than waiting to develop its own stack."

    Yes, because depending on other's willingness to sell you cutting edge technology has absolutely no drawbacks. Just ask Huawei.

  6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Oh dear. Don't they realise that autarchy doesn't work. Look at Ireland 1920-1960. Look at North Korea now. Competative advantage is a real thing. Import stuff from people who are already doing it and concentrate on stuff you can do better than them.

    1. John Sturdy

      I doubt they're aiming for autarchy

      I doubt they're aiming for autarchy. It looks more like for a start they're keeping their options open if either China (who they have existing tensions with) or the US starts putting restrictive conditions on trade; and then moving beyond that, becoming a competitor with both of those.

      If the USA votes Trump in again and collapses as a major technical power, and China starts to behave monopolistically, a serious design-and-manufacture alternative to both of those is probably good for much of the rest of the world.

    2. Raj

      If you think the goal of the Atmanirbhar Bharat is autarky, you are clearly very misinformed about Indian economic news.

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