WUXI, China, May 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The final round of the 2017 ASC Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC17) ended in Wuxi. Tsinghua University stood out from 20 teams from around the world after a fierce one-week competition, becoming grand champion and winning the prize.
Tsinghua University secured ASC17 Champion
As the world's largest supercomputing competition, ASC17 received applications from 230 universities around the world, 20 of which got through to the final round held this week at the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi after the qualifying rounds. During the final round, the university student teams were required to independently design a supercomputing system under the precondition of a limited 3000W power consumption. They also had to operate and optimize standard international benchmark tests and a variety of cutting-edge scientific and engineering applications including AI-based transport prediction, genetic assembly, and material science. Moreover, they were required to complete high-resolution maritime simulation on the world's fastest supercomputer, "Sunway TaihuLight".
The grand champion, team Tsinghua University, completed deep parallel optimization of the high-resolution maritime data simulation mode MASNUM on TaihuLight, expanding the original program up to 10,000 cores and speeding up the program by 392 times. This helped the Tsinghua University team win the e Prize award. MASNUM was nominated in 2016 for the Gordon Bell Prize, the top international prize in the supercomputing applications field.
The runner-up, Beihang University, gave an outstanding performance in the popular AI field. After constructing a supercomputing system which received massive training based on past big data of transportation provided by Baidu, their self-developed excellent deep neural network model yielded the most accurate prediction of road conditions during the morning peak.
The first-time finalist, Weifang University team, constructed a highly optimized advanced heterogeneous supercomputing system with Inspur's supercomputing server, and ran the international HPL benchmark test, setting a new world record of 31.7 TFLOPS for float-point computing speed. The team turned out to be the biggest surprise of the event and won the award for best computing performance.
Moreover, Ural Federal University, National Tsing Hua University, Northwestern Polytechnical University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University won the application innovation award. The popular choice award was shared by Saint-Petersburg State University and Zhengzhou University.
"It is great to see the presence of global teams in this event," Jack Dongarra, the Chairman of the ASC Expert Committee, founder of the TOP500 list that ranks the 500 most powerful supercomputer systems in the world, and professor at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the United States and the University of Tennessee, said in an interview. "This event inspired students to gain advanced scientific knowledge. TaihuLight is an amazing platform for this event. Just imagine the interconnected computation of everyone's computer in a gymnasium housing 100,000 persons, and TaihuLight's capacity is 100 times of such a gym. This is something none of the teams will ever be able to experience again."
According to Wang Endong, initiator of the ASC competition, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and the chief scientist of Inspur Group, the rapid development of AI at the moment is significantly changing human society. At the core of such development are computing, data and algorithms. With this trend, supercomputers will become an important infrastructure for intelligent society in the future, and their speed of development and standards will be closely related to social development, improvement in livelihood, and progress of civilization. ASC competition is always committed to cultivating future-oriented, inter-disciplinary supercomputing talents to extend the benefits to the greater population.
ASC17 is jointly organized by the Asian Supercomputing Community, Inspur Group, the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, and Zhengzhou University. Initiated by China, the ASC supercomputing challenge 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.
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