SupercomputingAsia Conference

Organised by NSCC, SupercomputingAsia (SCA) is an annual conference that encompasses an umbrella of notable supercomputing and allied events in Asia. SCA20 will be held from 24 to 27 February 2020.

The key objective is to promote a vibrant and relevant HPC ecosystem in Asia. Delegates will gain insights on current and future HPC trends from thought leaders in academia and industry, and have access to networking opportunities with the cream of the HPC community in Asia.

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SupercomputingAsia 2019 - HPC Futures - Hyperscalers, Exa, AI, Quantum and Beyond

(L-R) Mr Peter Ho, Chairman of NSCC Steering Committee, Prof. Satoshi Matsuoka, Director, RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS), Mr Heng Swee Keat, Minister for Finance and Chairman of the National Research Foundation, Mr Lim Soon Hock, Founder and Managing Director, PLAN-B ICAG Pte Ltd, Dr. Raj Thampuran, Managing Director, Agency for Science Technology and Research

More than 700 research and industry delegates from over 20 countries across Asia, America and Europe attended SupercomputingAsia 2019 (SCA19) in Singapore from 11 to 14 March 2019. This year’s event saw researchers and industry sharing ideas at insightful workshops and seminars, network with the who’s who in supercomputing, and showcase the best that supercomputing and high performance computing has to offer. SCA19 was co-organised with our supercomputing partners from Japan and Australia.

SCA19 saw increased industry interest in the conference with 24 new, first-time industry participants. Keeping in step with the latest supercomputing trends and developments, SCA19 added 3 brand new tracks – quantum computing, hyperscale infrastructure and cloud security.

SCA19 was also host to 44 exhibitors, including a mock-up of the IBM Q quantum computer, the first time the ‘system’ has been displayed in Asia.
Minister Heng Swee Keat, Chairman of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Board and Minister for Finance was the Guest-of-Honour at the Opening Ceremony for SCA19, where the event was used as a platform to announce the investment of funds from RIE2020 budget for the upgrading of supercomputing resources to meet Singapore’s future needs in its journey as a Smart Nation.

The event was an opportunity to recognise some of the pioneers who have been instrumental in developing the supercomputing ecosystem in Singapore. The SCA19 Awards recognised three participants this year, namely:

SupercomputingAsia 2019 – Singapore HPC-Pioneer & Achievement Award

Mr Lim Soon Hock, Founder and Managing Director, PLAN-B ICAG Pte Ltd

SupercomputingAsia 2019 – Asia HPC Leadership Award

Prof. Satoshi Matsuoka, Director, RIKEN Center for Computational Science (R-CCS)

SupercomputingAsia 2019 – Asia HPC Visionary Award
Dr. Raj Thampuran, Managing Director, Agency for Science Technology and Research

Moving data is an essential foundation of national and global science. The 2019 Data Mover Challenge (DMC), organised by NSCC, involved seven supercomputing facilities across the Pacific from countries like Japan, Australia and the US. The DMC showcased the capabilities of the competing teams in transferring extremely large data quantities at high speed between supercomputing centres and data storage resources, optimally, safely and efficiently. For achieving an amazing 68 Gbps transfer rate between Chicago and NSCC, Zettar Inc. were awarded the Overall Winner Award. A team from StarLight and the International Center for Advanced Internet Research (iCAIR) were awarded the Most Innovative Award for impressing the judges with their flexible framework to support large data transfers.

NSCC partnered with the HPC-AI Advisory Council to launch the 2019 edition of the HPC-AI Competition at SCA19. The competition is open to university and technical institute teams from the entire Asia Pacific region. The competition will involve both creating missions and addressing challenges around AI development and testing as well as high-performance computing workloads.

SCA19 hosted a series of fringe and co-located to strengthen local, regional and global cooperation in supercomputing technology. The event included joint meetings with co-organisers from Japan and Australia, Joint HPC Cloud Security Workshop, Precision Medicine, Supercomputing Frontiers Asia, Asia-Pacific Research Platform (APRP), ASEAN HPC Taskforce Meeting, Conference on Next Generation Arithmetic (CoNGA) and the IBM AI & HPC Meet-up.

SupercomputingAsia 2018 - Convergence of AI and HPC Bringing Transformation

Opening address of the inaugural SCA18 conference by Senior Minister of State, Dr Janil Puthucheary from the Ministry of Communications & Information and Education

Graced by Senior Minister of State, Dr Janil Puthucheary from the Ministry of Communications & Information and Education, the three-day conference kicked off this morning amidst a global wave of interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it converges with High Performance Computing (HPC) and the technologies relating to them, to transform the way we live.

Besides the Minister, SCA18 is also host to several prominent speakers, including:

1. Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Dr Goh Eng Lim, who is known as the Singaporean who, with NASA, put a supercomputer in space.

2. Dr Satoshi Sekiguchi from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and known for driving developments in HPC and applying IT-based solutions to solve society’s problems on AI.

3. Professor Joe Mambretti and Professor Thomas DeFanti, both distinguished pioneers of advanced Internet networking from the United States.

4. Mr Gilad Shainer from the HPC & AI Advisory Council and an HPC evangelist.

Alongside co-located HPC events, attendees can expect the following conferences in session:

1. Asia Pacific Advanced Network Meeting (APAN45) – The largest and longest-standing community of advanced network experts that pioneers and strategises research network connectivity and platforms for research and innovative projects in Asia Pacific.

2. Conference on Next Generation Arithmetic (CoNGA) – An innovation invented by supercomputing veteran Professor John Gustafson who has a law named after him (Gustafson’s Law), and whose latest unum incarnation called “posits” has the potential of changing the entire landscape of computing.

3. Singapore-Japan Joint Sessions – Talks and panel discussions centering energy efficiency and data centre cooling, aerospace and smart city concepts that aim to foster collaborations between Singapore and Japan.

4. Supercomputing Frontiers Asia (SCFA) – The technical sessions for SCA18, that has received over 40 papers, out of which 16 papers will be presented in the areas of Big Data, Graphics Processing Unites (GPU) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA), Performance Tools and Linear Algebra.

5. Towards an Asia Pacific Research Platform (APRP) – HPC and networking experts will knock heads together and lay the groundwork for building the planned Asia Pacific Research Platform (APRP), another innovation to bridge researchers and HPC/Networking facilities over a large geographical region.

SCA18 also covered a rich selection of workshops and sessions, including:
– Enabling Government Innovations Session; sharing GovTech’s innovation programme and AI & HPC related government projects that were funded under this programme.

– Industry Tracks; 14 exciting talks on HPC technologies and roadmaps by leading HPC vendors and sponsors who will stargaze and discuss the possibilities and potential of AI and HPC.

– Precision Medicine Track; Talks and panel discussions on the precision medicine landscape in Singapore today and what lies ahead for Precision Medicine in Singapore.

– Start-up Tracks; Panel discussions in the areas of Fintech, Biotech and Automation.

– 18 exhibition booths from sponsors including representation from supercomputing centres in Wuxi and Australia, as well as a combined booth by Japan’s RIKEN and Research Organisation for Information Science and Technology (RIST).

SCA18 was also be the launch platform of the APAC HPC-AI Competition, jointly organised by the HPC-AI Advisory Council (HPCAC) and NSCC. HPCAC is a leading global organisation for HPC and AI research, outreach, and education. The competition is open to teams from tertiary institutions in the APAC region who wish to demonstrate their programming ability in the traditional and emerging disciplines, including HPC and AI.

The is the first-ever APAC HPC-AI competition that aims to educate, empower, and bring together the next generation technology leaders. Participants will get the unique opportunity to showcase their HPC and AI expertise and the winning team will receive a cash prize and represent APAC at the Student Cluster Competition (SCC) at ISC 2019, a global HPC conference, in Germany.