Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s newly launched supercomputing platform has begun providing stable, efficient, and diverse computational support services to students and academic staff across a wide range of disciplines, greatly advancing the University’s research capacity.

XJTLU's Supercomputing platform Credit: MITS

The platform, designed by the Management Information Technology and Systems Office (MITS) along with an expert advisory group, has effectively streamlined the management and utilisation of computing resources at XJTLU.

Many research projects at the University require substantial computational power. Previously, XJTLU’s schools and academies had to submit annual budget requests based on their research requirements and procure their own computing resources. The new platform centralises the process, ensuring each school’s priorities are met while surplus resources are redistributed as needed.

“With each school managing its own computing resources, underutilisation and inefficiency was a common issue,” says Professor Fei Ma, XJTLU’s Associate Vice President for Research and Impact. “Not only does our supercomputing platform make managing and allocating resources more efficient, but it also will provide comprehensive support for the development of multiple academic fields and key research domains.”

Space for everyone

With a shared storage capacity of 648TB, XJTLU’s platform uses advanced heterogeneous computing architecture comprising central processing units (CPUs) and graphics processing units (GPUs), including one high-memory node, six nodes with NVIDIA RTX 3090 eight-GPU cards, and two nodes with NVIDIA A800 four-GPU cards.

“With the supercomputing platform serving as a catalyst, our next focus is expanding information technology services that facilitate research and provide students and academic staff with more specialised and user-friendly technical support,” says Xudong Feng, Head of MITS, which jointly manages the platform with the Knowledge and Information Centre.

XJTLU’s commitment to academic research has resulted in a steady increase in demand among its scholars for computing power and resources. So far, the platform has helped reduce the University’s operational expenditure by about 10 million RMB.

Dr Xin Bi, Director of the Knowledge and Information Centre, says that as the supercomputing platform develops, the University plans to make its computing resources accessible to research institutions and enterprises in Suzhou. This will further contribute to the city’s aspirations to become a leader in China’s digitalisation and a national centre for the computing industry.

By Bo Kou

Translated by Xueqi Wang

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