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Over 300 experts discuss further use of exascale supercomputing in marine exploration

By Xie Chuanjiao | | Updated: 2017-04-21 15:45

Top Chinese scientists are making more efforts to apply exascale supercomputing technology into marine-related scientific exploration.

"Exascale supercomputing" refers to computing system capable of running at least one-exaflop, or quintillion (1 followed by 18 zeros) floating-point calculations per second.

More than 300 experts and researchers from home and abroad joined a forum focusing on the development of supercomputing in Qingdao, East China's Shandong province, on April 15.

The forum was hosted by Qingdao National Laboratory for Marine Science and Technology, or QNLM, the first national laboratory of the kind approved in China for pilot run.

Gao Wen, an academician at Chinese Academy of Engineering, said phenomena in marine science such as tide and wind are actually physical process and they are affected by many factors, and the forecast of these factors need powerful performance of exascale supercomputing.

"Matters including oil exploration and weather forecast, which are related to people's livelihood, also in bad need of exascale supercomputing," said Gao, who is also a professor from Peking University.

Zhang Dongxiao, dean of the college of engineering at Peking University, said the development of exascale supercomputing should be supported by both hardware and software, and it's necessary to build a public exascale supercomputing platform in marine research.

Last December, QNLM unveiled its high performance computing center. Its computing capacity reached 2.6 petaflops (quadrillion floating-point calculations per second), the fastest in current international marine research area.

Wu Lixin, director of executive committee of QNLM, said the Qingdao laboratory will invite experts from both marine and computer research fields together and discuss the application of exascale supercomputing with its focus on ultra-precision simulation of ocean system.

With the help of intellectual supercomputing and big data, the QNLM is also carrying out major scientific projects, including "transparent ocean", "deep sea and polar regions", "blue life", in support of the accurate prediction of the marine environment and climate change, said Wu, who is also an academician of at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

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