ASC is one of the three most influential contests in the world, abreast with SC and ISC. This contest is initiated by China, and is jointly launched and organized by the experts and institutes from Japan, Russia, South Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other countries and regions. It is hosted by Inspur Group which is the most famous HPC company in China, aiming to boost the exchange and cultivation of young talents among Asia countries and districts and improve their application level of supercomputing as well as their ability of R&D. Besides, supercomputing, serving as the driving force to science and technology, can stimulate the innovation of industries in Asia.
ASC competition rules require that all students teams should design and build a supercomputer system by themselves under the power limitation of 3000 watts, and run 5 application optimizations of HPL, GROMACS, OPENCFD, WRF, and BSDE. Besides this, each team should demonstrate its plan and optimization strategy to the review committee, which poses an all around challenge on the supercomputing application ability.
In addition to the three previously referred teams, there are 7 students teams respectively from University of St. Petersburg (Russia), Ulsan University of Science and Technology (South Korea), King Abdulaziz University (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), The Chinese University of Hong Kong, National University of Defense Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and Sun Yat-Sen University. The ten teams were selected through a preliminary contest from the 43 universities who had signed up for the competition.
All teams are equipped with the most updated hardware, including a supercomputing server and MIC supplied by the organizer Inspur. Meanwhile, the five supercomputing application software tools chosen for the optimization contest are widely representative. HPL benchmark test is the most mainstream and sophisticated review system for the performance of supercomputer floating points in the world. And the other four software tools are widely used in molecular dynamics, fluid dynamics, mesoscale weather forecast, and option pricing respectively.
The performance of the teams was far beyond the expectation, and displayed the highest supercomputing level of Asian students. Mr. Mo Zeyao, chairmen of the review committee, vice director of Beijing Institute of Applied Physics and Computational Mathematics, commented that the students had a good command, deep understanding and application of the related supercomputer knowledge and technology. With their own characteristics in the plans and strategies, the teams differed dramatically in building supercomputing platforms. The biggest platform adopted 9 nodes, and the smallest one took 4. In addition, there were both mixed clusters of CPU+GPU and MIC clusters.
The 10 teams fully exhibited their advantages in the finals, like the remarkable innovation of mainland Tsinghua University, outstanding comprehensive strengths of Taiwan Tsinghua University, and the excellent application optimization of Huazhong Science and Technology University, and the high professional level and overall supercomputing ability of Sun Yat-sen University, National University of Defense Technology, Shanghai Jiaotong University. Meanwhile the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Ulsan University of Science and Technology (South Korea), King Abdulaziz University (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), and University of St. Petersburg (Russia) were also quite impressive in challenge spirit, imagination and innovation.
"We hope to inspire the enthusiasm of young students toward supercomputing, and move forward the supercomputing application and development, and talents cultivation and exchange among Asian countries and regions by holding such kind of contest", stated Liu Jun, general manager of the high performance supercomputing department of Inspur Group, "seeing from the effect of the contest, we successfully realize our goal. The enthusiasm and innovation in supercomputing technology that are shown by the students are quite exciting for me."
Some experts argue that the application scale and level of the supercomputer in a country or region is closely related to its strength of high-tech and innovation. So the former is taken as innovation indication of the country. In recent years, Asia supercomputing developed quickly, and became the third panel of the world pattern. Because of China's strong drive, Asia ranks the second place, closely after the US, for many consecutive years in the TOP500 of global supercomputers. Under the current context, it is urgent in the Asian supercomputing field to strengthen the communication and co-operation of the high-tech and talents cultivation, and vigorously advance the science and technology innovation and industry upgrading.