February 16, 2017 − 2017 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17) held its opening ceremony at Zhengzhou University. 230 teams from all over the world will challenge the world’s fastest supercomputer Sunway TaihuLight, artificial intelligence application, Gordon Bell Award nomination application, and compete for 20 places in the finals. Hundred supercomputing experts and team representatives worldwide attended the opening ceremony.
The number of teams registered ASC17 Challenge has reached a new high, is up 31% compare to the last year. The competition platforms and applications have been designed to reflect the leading-edge characteristic: Sunway TaihuLight and the most advanced supercomputer in Henan province (which is in the middle of China) will perform different competition applications. Baidu’s AI application, intelligent driving traffic prediction and a high-resolution global surface wave simulation MASNUM_WAVE, a 2016 Gordon Bell Prize finalist will give the teams the opportunities to challenge the “Super Brain” and the “Big Science “. Meanwhile, ASC17 finals will include 20 teams, instead of the original 16 teams.
Wang Endong, initiator of the ASC challenge, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering and Chief Scientist at Inspur, said that with the convergence of HPC, big data and cloud computing, intelligent computing as represented by artificial intelligence will become the most important and significant component for the coming computing industry , and bring new challenges in computing technologies. For two consecutive seasons, ASC Challenge has set AI applications to hope students can understand the deep learning algorithms, and acquire the knowledge relating to big data and cutting-edge computing technologies, thereby grooming inter-disciplinary supercomputing talent for the future.
On the day of the opening ceremony, Henan province’s fastest supercomputer in Zhengzhou University (Zhengzhou City) Supercomputing Center launched and become one of the competition platforms for ASC17. Liu Jiongtian, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering , President of Zhengzhou University, pity not to attended the event but believed that this will allow teams worldwide to experience the latest technology such as KNL many core architecture. At the same time, this will also help to accelerate supercomputing applications innovations in Zhengzhou and Henan Province and help to groom supercomputing talent in the region, promote smart city development in Zhengzhou, and support rapid economic development of the regions in middle of China.
Yang Guangwen, director of National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, said that all the processors used in Sunway TaihuLight are home grown by China, and that it is the world’s first supercomputer to achieve 100 petaflops. Using Sunway TaihuLight as the competition platform, will give each team the opportunity to experience the world’s fastest supercomputer, in order to promote the training of young talents better. At the same time, the international exchanges resulting from ASC17 Challenge will help more people appreciate Chinese capability in independent design in the supercomputing domain.
The organizers of ASC17 Challenge have also arranged a 2-day intensive training camp for the participants, where experts from National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, Baidu, and Inspur conducted comprehensive and systematic lectures. Topics included the design of a supercomputer system, the KNL, deep learning application optimization solutions and techniques on using Sunway TaihuLight.
The ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge is initiated by China, and supported by experts and institutions worldwide. The competition aims to be the platform to promote exchanges among young supercomputing talent from different countries and regions, as well as to groom young talent. It also aims to be the key driving force in promoting technological and industrial innovations by improving the standards in supercomputing applications and research. ASC Challenge has been held for 6 years. This year the ASC17 Challenge is co-organized by Zhengzhou University, the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi , and Inspur.