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November 15, 2013

Registration for ASC14 Student Supercomputer Challenge Opens

BEIJING, Nov. 15 — The ASC14 student supercomputer challenge (hereafter ASC14) will be held in China, and the registration has opened already. ASC14 is initiated by Asia and accepts the registration from all academic organization in the five continents. Many international universities have expressed their attention and interests, including those from China,United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Singapore, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries and regions. As introduced by the ASC14 committee, this event has fruitfully achieved the world’s biggest student supercomputer challenge in 2013, per the registration teams’ amount.

ASC14 will be divided into three stages (

I, the first stage is registration and will end by December 20, 2013;

II, the second stage is preliminary match and will be held between January and February next year. Each team should submit a proposal according to the committee’s questions.

III, the third stage is the finals and will be held in April the next year. The finalist teams need to deploy and optimize a supercomputer, and finish:

  1. Linpack test
  2. Three HPC applications
  3. Heterogeneous computing optimization
  4. Presentation

According to the rules of the challenge, each registered team should have a unique team, composed of one advisor and the five team members (all undergraduate students).

One special question that will be adopted by ASC14 is the heterogeneous computing optimization for an HPC application. This application will be donated by the Chinese HPC scientists. The qualified application may get the chance to run on the Tianhe-2 supercomputer (#1 Top500 2013 Jun) for the performance testing and scalability testing.

ASC in Asia, SC in the U.S., and ISC in Germany are the three top-level supercomputer challenges around the world. Compared with SC and ISC, ASC is well accepted by its larger scales, reasonable competition system, and most challenging contest questions, as commented by the ASC13 teams. The ASC13 have successfully attracted 142 teams’ attention and 43 teams’ registration, including Pukyong National University from South Korea, Baumann State Technical University from Russia,Chinese University of Hong Kong, Mumbai University from India, Kazakh National University, and King Saud University, as well as universities from mainland China including Shanghai Jiaotong University, University of Science and Technology of China, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Nanjing University, Wuhan University, Tongji University, Fudan University, Sun Yat-Sen University, Northwestern Polytechnical University. Ten universities finally obtained the tickets for the finals that hosted in the Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

The ASC challenge is one of the toughest challenges in the world. First, the teams need be qualified through the registration, the preliminary contest, and the finals. Secondly, the contest questions are most exciting. Part of the test requests the teams to learn the applications’ portability and code optimization. This requires not only the computer coding abilities but also the good understanding of the application physical model and mathematic algorithm. The question also differentiates the ASC from SC and ISC fundamentally. As commented by an advisor, who has competed in the three international contests, “ASC is more challenging and more interesting.”

It is known that ASC has successfully attracted the top level teams. Note that the ASC13 teams consist of the Tsinghua University of China, who was the champion of both ISC’12 and ASC’13; the Taiwan Tsinghua University, who obtained two champions in SC; the NUDT, who reached two highest Linpack winners in both SC12 and ISC12; and the Huazhong University of Science and Technology of China, who demonstrated its master of cutting-edge technologies in ASC’13 with the highest Linpack.

According to ASC committee and INSPUR group, the openness of the ASC14 will be wider. The teams can use their own accelerators and interconnection. These changes will give the teams more innovation space and induce the uncertainty of the final scores. Probably, the finalist teams may have a chance to test Tinahe-2 supercomputer.

Through the challenge, the ASC hopes to gather the HPC talents, motivate them toward HPC, and inspire their innovation passion of Wisdom Unbound. We believe with the impacts 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 have already contributed to the Tianhe-1A and Tianhe2. The final goal of ASC is to culture the HPC scientists and engineers, who will contribute to exploring the unknowns and realizing the dreams of the entire human being.


Source: ASC14 Committee