April 23, 2014

9.27TFlops@3Kw! New Linpack Record set in ASC14 Student Supercomputer Challenge

On April 23th, three ASC14 finalists: Sun Yat-sen University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology and Taiwan Tsinghua University rewrote the Linpack record in Student Supercomputer Challenges. Under the 3000W power budget, the ASC14 host, the Sun Yat-sen University reached 9.272 Tflops Linpack performance.

ASC14 is organized by Asia Supercomputer Community, Sun Yat-sen University and INSPUR Group. The goal of the challenge is to promote the exchanging and cultivation of those supercomputer young talents in all countries and regions, to improve supercomputer application level and R&D capacity, and to enhance the technical and industrial innovation via the technical driving force of supercomputer. Since launched in November 2013, ASC14 has 82 teams registered from five continents. Over the severe preliminary competition, 16 teams finally qualified for the final, held in Sun Yat-Sen University in April 21-25, 2014.

In the ASC14 finals, all finalists are required to adopt the INSPUR supercomputer node, high speed network, and other facilities to build a supercomputer system. The Linpack test winner, Sun Yat-sen University achieved the peak performance (9.272 Tflops) with 216 processor cores and 8 heterogeneous acceleration cards. This Linpack performance has broken the previous record 8.45Tflops, set by Huazhong University of Science and Technology in ISC13.

As for winning the award of the highest Linpack, Dr. Ye Weicai, the advisor of Sun Yat-Sen University team shared the reason why they can achieve this result. On one hand, the team has conducted a lot of deep and fine strategic optimization on Linpack testing, which better exhibits heterogeneous acceleration technology, and then greatly improves the system floating point computing capacity. On the other hand, INSPUR has provided Cluster Engine, a comprehensive software for HPC management and live monitor. Cluster Engine helps finalists to analyze and optimize operation power consumption, so the finalists can relative easily demonstrate the computing performance and effectively control the power consumption simultaneously. He believes that Linpack only represents the theoretical computing performance of system, and the following actual application optimization will be a greater challenge.

ASC14 Committee member, INSPUR HPC General Manager, Mr. Liu, Jun said that it is surprising and joyful that the three teams have broken the record, which indicates that ASC14 teams have very good understanding of the latest supercomputer technology and have innovative ideas of supercomputer structure compared to those previous teams. This also embodies the height the challenge level and demonstrates that ASC has played an important role in promoting the training of supercomputer talent. Mr. Liu Jun introduces that it is more worth expecting for the finalists to face the extreme challenge from the application on the Tianhe-2 system.

As introduced by the committee, ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge has been held for three times, from 27 participating colleges in 2012, to 43 teams in 2013, and then to 82 registered teams in 2014. The challenge has completed the “three leaps” development from China to Asian, from Asia to the world. In the last three years, the challenge has aroused broad social concerns on the application development of supercomputer, attracted more and more talents to be engaged in the supercomputer community, and produced profound influence on the development of supercomputer industry.