April 22, 2014

ASC14 Finals Kick-off, 16 Finalists Ready to Go

21st April 8:00 A.M., with the staffs of the ASC14 Committee began to announce the competition rules, 2014 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC 14) Finals has officially started in the Sun Yat-Sen University. In the finals, 16 finalists will complete for the supercomputer system architecture under 3000W power budget, HPL, Quantum Espresso, LICOM, SU2, and a secret application optimization. The finalist also needs to explore the scalability of the specified application 3D_EW on the world fastest supercomputer, Tianhe-2. All teams will also present the all tasks. Finally, the results of ASC14 Finals will be released on the closing ceremony on April 25th.

Two days before the Finals, according to ASC14 Committee, 16 teams shall build their own supercomputer system with nodes, High Speed Network provided by INSPUR, with the consideration of the 3000W power budget. ASC14 Committee member, INSPUR HPC General Manager, Mr. Liu, Jun claimed that the challenge of this contest is to design and realize the blueprint under the default condition. This requires each team to serve as both the designer and the engineer in the same time. “Many car designers know how to design a fast car, but it needs to be test after the production and find out whether the car can run, or how fast it can be. This process is not only the verification of ideas, but more a process of problem identification and solving. It is beneficial for each finalist member to better understand supercomputer by not only how-to but also why ”

Team is building their self-designed supercomputer system

Team is building their self-designed supercomputer system

No matter for the veteran finalist or the freshmen, the ASC14 is a naughty challenge for their wisdom. Dr. David Vincze, the director of University of Miskolc, first time to ASC, illustrated that it is valuable to enjoying and growing through this competition. In his opinion, the most difficult and crucial task of ASC14 is 3D_EW optimization. The rank of this task will directly determine whether the team members can have the opportunity to experience the manipulation on operating Tianhe-2, the world fastest supercomputer. As for the secret application, will be launched on April 24th, David Vincze shows a complex motion of nervousness, excitement and expectation.

Veteran from ASC13 and SC12, Director of National Tsinghua University team, Prof. Zhiyuan ZHOU considers the supercomputer as a man, the hardware is his body, equation is his brain, both two need to be coordinated well in order to maximize the potential. Compare to SC, ASC more emphasizes the equation coding and optimization instead of simply install and run the equation. This touches the core of supercomputing and representing the future tendency of supercomputer.

In fact, it has become the common recognition to build up the supercomputer’s “soft-ability”, and application development as an essential part therefore has obtained a great attentions. From the reports of those on-site journalists, all regions of the 16 finalist teams have been laying efforts on supercomputer application and talents cultivation. Through competing in ASC 14, these finalists’ students can grasp the opportunity for the full observation of supercomputer, and to enhance their understanding on supercomputer. During the competition, 16 finalists will use their self-designed system to compile and optimize 6 applications. The coming rival of the “soft-ability” will become the door-key for the champion of this global supercomputer challenge.



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