In the first day of HPL contest at the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC16) on April 20, the team from Zhejiang University achieved a floating point computation performance of 12.03TFLOPS under 3000W power constraints. This rewrote the world record of 11.92TFLOPS held by Nanyang Technological University.
This record-breaking performance was achieved under a rule set by ASC. All teams are required to build a supercomputing system with computing nodes, high-speed interconnect, accelerators provided by Inspur, and the whole system must run under the power restraint of 3000W. The power consumption was being monitored continually. Zhejiang University was able to design and set up a 4-node supercomputing system which has 80 CPU cores and 8 Nvidia K80 GPU accelerators. Their system achieved a constant floating computing performance of 12.03TFLOPS. This sets a new world record since Nanyang Technological University’s 11.92TFLOPS at ASC15.
Jianhai Chen, the advisor of the Zhejiang University Team said that their success was based on the extensive preparation by all team members as well as the support from the institute. The team had some deep discussions before the contest. They decided to make plenty of in-depth strategic optimizations on HPL applications. Thus they were able to fully take the advantage of the GPU acceleration and greatly enhance the system’s floating point computing capability. In addition, by practicing on a training platform similar to the equipment used in the final round, the team could test and then improve their competition strategy as well as polish their hands-on skills. Chen believed that HPL only represents the theoretical computing capability of the system and that the next practical application and optimization contests will be a bigger challenge.
The ASC16 is jointly organized by Asia Supercomputer Community, Inspur Group, and Huazhong University of Science and Technology. This year, a total of 175 teams from 148 universities across six continents registered for the competition. As the world’s largest supercomputing hackathon, it serves to challenge and inspire the next generation of HPC scientists and engineers to deliver innovative solutions. Closely following the most cutting-edge technologies, ASC has attracted a growing number of new talents to supercomputing and has greatly promoted communications among the global HPC community.