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April 27, 2014

Shanghai Jiao Tong University Crowns ASC14 and Ran 200K Cores on Tianhe-2

Apr. 25th, the largest student supercomputer challenge ASC14 has concluded with great success. The Shanghai Jiao Tong University(China) won the champion and Nanyang Technological University(Singapore) won the silver prize. The Highest Linpack award went to Sun Yat-sen University. The brand new e Prize had been obtained by The Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

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 closing ceremony, the chair of ASC14 evaluation committee, Deputy Director of Beijing Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, Professor MO Zeyao announced the challenge results and commented the entire competition. He said that the students’ performance in ASC14 is better than that of ASC13, among which the Shanghai Jiao Tong University demonstrated their HPC ability by top the applications in 3D-EW, Quantum Espresso and LICOM, and finally won the overall Champion. In the meantime, the freshman of student supercomputer challenge, Nanyang Technological University showed a balanced ability and became the most surprising Black-Horse. The host, Sun Yat-sen University rewrote the record of Linpack and reached 9.272 Tflops peak performance within 3000W budget.

Professor Mo highly praised the excellent optimization of 3D-EW(3D Elastic Wave Modeling) and the scalability on Tianhe-2 achieved by Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The team migrated it from serial to parallel,  ported it from CPU to CPU+MIC, and contacted the tests on Tianhe-2, eventually scale up to 1,024 nodes (200K cores) with near linear speedup. That is why they won the e Prize award.  Here, “e” is the most important natural constant in science, and also represents the next generation supercomputer (exascale). ASC hopes the e Prize become ‘Gordon Bell Prize’ of youth talents.

The ASC initiator, Chief Scientist of INSPUR group Mr. Wang Endong shared his point of view that the achievements the human being will realize in next 20 years with the helps from supercomputing shall be greater than those we did in last 200 years. So for each country, supercomputing is not a consumption any more but an investment for the future. Its development rate and level will represent the National Power.

Nowadays, supercomputing has been widely used in scientific research and social economic problems solving. Many global scientific projects, including Higgs bosons, Clean energy from nuclear fusion, and cosmogonic; many industry demands, including automobile design and animation movie; many social problems, including smog and global warming; cannot leave the helps from supercomputing. While in order to turn supercomputing to the engine of scientific innovation and society economy development, we must start with application innovation and talents cultivation, must maximize the computing potential of HPC hardware.

As the increase of the ASC’s impact, there is doubtless enhancement of the society’s attention on HPC. More and more people get to knowing HPC and loving HPC. This is the good preparation for setting the HPC related courses or majors. Recently, lots of ASC teams come from the university with the HPC courses, especially the Sun Yat-sen University. The university set up the supercomputer school, HPC application school, big data research institute, and research center of HPC engineering. It is the most comprehensive HPC focused University in China. In addition, ASC has gathered the top global HPC talents. Their wisdom will greatly benefit the innovation and development of HPC application.

The president of Sun Yat-sen University, Professor Ningsheng XU put forward that supercomputing helps in various aspects of the society. The HPC talents with the international view will become the most precious resource of every country. With the attention on the advanced disciplines of culture, science, and medicine, the university encourages the inter-disciplines, which is essential for the HPC development. He also emphasized that ‘Well equipped youths lead to a powerful country’. This will be the key session for the real leading country of HPC.

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