(Yicai Global) May 23 -- China is building a national supercomputing internet platform to promote the interconnection and sharing of supercomputing resources and fill the computing power gap resulting from the increasing needs of applications such as artificial intelligence, according to an industry expert.
The platform aims to solve the imbalance in China's computing power resources, enabling supercomputing to serve individuals, corporations, the government, and scientific researchers, Cao Zhennan, deputy head of the High Performance Computer Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Computing Technology, told Yicai Global yesterday during the four-day Greater Bay Area Science Forum.
China formally began to build the supercomputing internet platform last month, Cao said, adding that it is funded and operated by a consortium of 22 bodies, with more participants expected to join later.
Cao believes that four steps are needed to develop the platform. First, its setup. Second, the creation of a related app store to facilitate the quick connection between supply and demand. Third, the building of a supercomputing community that includes functions such as demand release, project collaboration, and business communication. Fourth, the drawing up of technical standards for the supercomputing internet.
The platform can support major scientific research projects with computing power and it can also fulfill needs from different industry sectors, such as the automotive, oil, and biomedical fields, Cao noted, with some applications directly connected with people's daily life, such as weather forecasts.
“Besides supercomputing centers, the platform should also connect people, applications, and services,” Cao said. The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area is home to many scientific research teams, so has a greater need for computing power, he pointed out.
It is hoped that companies, startups, development teams, and even individuals in the Greater Bay Area will be included in the supercomputing internet platform’s user base to propel application development and coordinated enhancement of the platform's software and hardware, Cao added.
The platform will also integrate computing power, applications, data, and communities to comprehensively allocate national computing power resources, Cao said. In this way, users will not need to invest much in hardware when developing AI applications and could finish complex computing tasks, such as training AI big models, with the platform.
Regarding the relative software supply weaknesses China currently faces, Caod said the platform should adopt an internet mentality toward customer acquisition and software development. The more a software is used, the higher quality it will be, he said, adding that a software cannot improve if nobody uses it.
In the future, with affordable service fees, even individuals will be able to enjoy computing power services provided by the supercomputing network, according to Cao.
“The successful operation of a supercomputing internet platform is not only dependent on scientific and technological progress, it is also a result of engineering achievements and operational business model,” according to Cao. The platform should become a win-win situation for everybody involved, he said.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Futura Costaglione