On April 26, the very first day of the ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17), Weifang University from China, setting new student competition HPL record with 31.70 TFLOPS. Weifang University is a common college from China Shandong Province, for them this is the second time to participate in ASC17 challenge and the first time finalist.
The HPL test in ASC17 has strict rules for competing teams to complete the construction of a supercomputing system with a total power constraint of 3000W using equipment such as Inspur supercomputing nodes, high-speed networks and self-configuration accelerator cards provided by the organizing committee. The team from Weifang University designed a heterogeneous supercomputing system using 5 Inspur supercomputing servers and 10 P100 GPU accelerator cards to achieve a consistent floating-point performance of 31.7 TFLOPS.
The Weifang University team leader, Cao Jian, said that they only switched their team’s supercomputer design from a CPU to a GPU system at the very last minute just one day before the competition. Nevertheless, the team had prior experience with power consumption testing on GPU cards in the cluster back at school and they were very confident even with the last minute change in strategy. Ultimately, Weifang University was able to successfully control the power consumption of individual GPU cards to within 173W, more than 30% lower than the 250W power rating, proving the team’s strong hands-on capabilities. According to Cao Jian, even though it gives them great joy to break the world record for HPL computing performance, team members were most attracted by the opportunity to operate Sunway TaihuLight, China’s very own world number one supercomputer, as well as to exchange notes and learn from supercomputing talents the world over.
The ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge is initiated by China, which is the largest student supercomputer challenge in the world. This year the ASC17 Challenge is organized by ASC Community, Inspur, the National Supercomputing Centre in Wuxi, and Zhengzhou University,with 230 teams from all over the world having taken part in the competition. The 20 finalist teams will design and build a cluster under 3000W using Inspur supercomputing nodes to run AI-based traffic prediction, Falcon, LAMMPS, Saturne, benchmark HPL&HPCG, and run MASNUM on Sunway TaihuLight.