Here’s a short look at what the team from China’s University of Science & Technology was up to on the last day of the competition. There’s a pretty big language barrier here – one that’s made worse by my inability to speak slowly and clearly after drinking a quart of press room coffee.
(A note/rant to all those who run press rooms: stop using those stupid single-cup ‘pod’ coffee makers. But if you absolutely insist upon them, make sure you have enough REAL COFFEE on hand. Not ‘Pumpkin-Infused Cappuccino’ or ‘Hazelnut Broccoli Blend’ or ‘Blueberry Beef Celebration’. End of rant.)
Although we didn’t share a common spoken language, it was easy to see that these kids are confident in both their hardware and their ability to make it sing. Like all of the teams we’ve previously seen from China, they’re big believers in hybrid HPC, and their weapon of choice is six NVIDIA Tesla 2090 cards. They’re power-hungry at 225 watts each, but they can crank out as much as 10x the performance of a traditional CPU – a bargain from a power consumption standpoint.
Team USTC is new to the competition, so they’re difficult to handicap, but given the scores posted by previous teams hailing from the Middle Kingdom (NUDT and Beijing’s Tsing Hua), I think they have to be considered a serious contender for the Overall Award.