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March 26, 2014

16 Universities Qualify for ASC14 Final

BEIJING, China, March 26 — On March 24, 2014 the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (“ASC14″), organized by Inspur Group, held a press conference in Beijing to officially announce the 16 teams that have qualified for the final, which will be held at Sun Yat-Sen University (Guangzhou) on April 21-25. The conference included speakers from domestic and overseas teams, along with representatives from their respective embassies. Many supercomputer experts and professionals were also in attendance.

After two months of intense preliminary contests, sixteen finalists were selected via a tough evaluation. The finalists are: Singapore Nanyang Technological University, Purdue University, Brazil Universidade de Sao Paulo, Russia Ural Federal University, Hungary University of Miskolc, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, National Tsing Hua University, Taiyuan University of Technology, Tsinghua University, Zhejiang University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Beihang University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, National University of Defense Technology and Sun Yat-Sen University.

As introduced by the organizing committee, the preliminary ASC14 contest presents two major characteristics. First, many registered teams are world class. For instance, Sun Yat-Sen University has a competitive advantage in the field of application optimization and won the best grade in Gromacs application at ASC13. National Tsing Hua University, Purdue University, Tsinghua University, and National University of Defense Technology have won prizes in both SC and ISC many times. Second, the ASC contest presents problems that are very challenging. The participating teams need to accomplish a leading edge application architecture migration, parallel computing, performance optimization, and overall process of supercomputer application and development. The entire process demands deep understanding of the application and high operational abilities.

According to the final requirements, the 16 ASC14 finalists shall build a small cluster with their own design that comes in under a 3000W power budget limit. The cluster serves as the base platform for each team. More importantly, the finalists will also complete an application scalability test on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, which was moved to Sun Yat-Sen University very recently.

In order to encourage youth to bravely break performance limits, the ASC committee announced that the “e Prize” will be awarded at ASC14 final for the team that obtains the highest scalability and performance optimization of supercomputer applications. “e” is the most important natural constant in science, and also represents the next generation supercomputer (exascale). ASC hopes that the e Prize becomes the “Gordon Bell Prize” of youth talents.

Mr. Wang Endong, ASC initiator, Director of the State Key Laboratory of High-end Server and Storage, and senior vice-president of Inspur Group, said that “the development of supercomputer applications and talent cultivation are the key issues in current HPC development. It is expected that ASC will be a good catalyst for these issues.”

In addition, Mr. Zhu Xiping, vice-president of Sun Yat-Sen University put forward that “Application development plays an important role in supercomputer usage. Holding the ASC Challenge will let more people know about supercomputers, allow them to become familiar with supercomputers, and love supercomputers. The challenge will attract more outstanding university students to participate in and devote themselves to scientific research and industry development with the supercomputer contribution.”

ASC14 is co-organized by the Asia Supercomputer Community, Sun Yat-Sen University and Inspur Group. This year it registered a record number of teams, 84. The teams are from five continents, including developing areas such as Brazil, Russia,South Africa, India and China. The goal of ASC is to promote the applications of supercomputers and develop new HPC talents. Through the challenge, the ASC hopes to gather new talents, motivate them toward HPC, and inspire their passion for innovation of Wisdom Unbound. We believe that with the impact of ASC, many young talents will start their journey of meeting HPC, understanding HPC, and loving HPC. Some of them may finally take HPC as a career option, such as some students fromNational Defense University team who have already contributed to Tianhe-1A and Tianhe2. The final goal of ASC is to culture the HPC scientists and engineers who will contribute to exploring the unknown and realize the dreams of the entire human race.

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Source: ASC14 Committee