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An Exclusive Interview with Academician Chen Xiaohong by the Outlook Weekly of Xinhua News Agency

2022-11-13 15:54:48

Recently, OutlookWeekly, a newsweekly under Xinhua News Agency, published an exclusive interview with Chen Xiaohong, CAE Academician, Director of the Xiangjiang Laboratory and Secretary of CPC HUTB Committee, which the article name is Preemptively Occupy the Commanding Heights of the Global Advanced Computing Industry. It deeply elaborates on the strategic significance, development profile, development trend and strategic path of the advanced computing industry, which is of great significance to further study and implement the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), speed-up the construction of Xiangjiang Laboratory, a high-level platform for science and technology innovation, accelerate the implementation of the "reach the peak" project in HUTB and build an "innovative Hunan University of Technology and Business", so as to better identify the strategic positioning of "Three Highlands and Four New Missions" in Hunan and complete the mission successfully.

This article, which quickly reached more than 1.5 million views in a short time, was reprinted by well-known media such as Xinhua News Agency, Xinhuanet, Learning Power, Kejihunan, Hunan Today and other authoritative media, and it was published in the home page of Xinhuanet in a striking way. The full text of this article is as follows:

Written by Zhang Yujie, reporter of Outlook Weeklyof Xinhua News Agency

 

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Academician Chen Xiaohong (second from left) leadsthe team to

carry out research work

◇The world has ushered in an era of fierce competition with advanced computing as thetop priority. Based on this, we should attach great importance to it from a strategic perspective.

◇The development of advanced computing in China is at a stage of making up for deficiencies and consolidating the foundation in order to accumulate power. With the digital economy becoming stronger, better and larger, and the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity deepening, the development trend of advanced computing continues to move forward in a good direction.

◇We need to preemptively occupy the commanding heights of the development of the global advanced computing industry from three aspects: improving the industrial-technological innovation ability, strengthening the industrial ecosystem construction and enhancing international cooperation.

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"At present, the advanced computing industry has become the forefront of fierce competition among countries. China's advanced computing industry has a certain development scale and talent reserve in basic theory, computing systems, enterprise layout and so on, and will develop with a broad market space in the future." Said Chen Xiaohong, CAE Academician, Director of the Xiangjiang Laboratory and Secretary of CPC HUTB Committee.

Advanced computing industry refers to the general name of emerging technology and industry in terms of computing methods, locations, algorithms or mechanisms, which has the characteristics of progressiveness, universalityand diversity. Academician Chen Xiaohong believes that vigorously developing the advanced computing industry is of great strategic significance to speed up economic and social development and cultivate the competitive advantage of the various industries.

How to understand the strategic significance and development law of advanced computing industry? How to accurately grasp the development pulse of China's advanced computing industry, so as to actively seize the commanding heights of the global advanced computing industry? The reporter of Outlook Weeklyinterviewed Academician Chen Xiaohong with the above questions.

Deeply Understand the Strategic Significance of Advanced Computing Industry

OutlookWeekly: How do you view the significance of the current advanced computing industry for real-life and development prospects?

Chen Xiaohong: I believe thatthe world has ushered in an era of fierce competition with advanced computing as thetop priority. Based on this, we should attach great importance to it from a strategic perspective.

First, the advanced computing industry has become the main battlefield of the world's scientific and technological competition and industrial revolution, as well as the battleground for major scientific and technological innovation. The world today is at the intersection of a new round of scientific and technological revolution and industrial transformation. As a representative of the new generation of digital technology, the advanced computing industry has become a new engine to promote economic and social development and can drive profound changes in the industrial model, operation model, consumption structure and way of thinking. Advanced computing core technology is in the most useful tool to efficiently handle massive data resources. Under the condition that data has become an important factor of production and a national basic strategic resource, whoever has mastered the ability to access data resources can firmly grasp the initiative in the global competition of digital technology.

Second, the development of the advanced computing industry has become an inevitable move for promoting the overall digital transformation of the economy and society, and building a manufacturing power, a network power, and a digital China. In the digital economy era, computing power is the core productivity and data is equivalent to the "petroleum" of economic development. The explosive growth of massive data has become a new symbol of the contemporary information society. To promote the digitalization and digital industrialization of China's industries in an all-around way and build a digital economic highland for the future, we need technology as strong support from massive big data, high-performance computing power, efficient algorithms and computing network integration. So we select the new cloud computing sidearchitecture to build a large-scale data processing platform and intelligent computing model for promoting profound changes in manufacturing mode, production organization and industrial form.

Third, the development of advanced computing has become the sole way to overcome the key "bottleneck" technology in China's information innovation field and develop disruptive technologies. Advanced computing includes computing power, algorithms, data, computing networks and other elements. The advanced computing industry chain includes core component layer, machine layer, basic software layer, platform layer, application layer, data layer, theory layer and other layers, which are the key to the innovative development of the information field. If you want to make a major achievement in the field of information and innovation, you must pay full attention to develop the advanced computing industry.

OutlookWeekly:Changsha, Hunan Province, has become the permanent venue of the World Computing Conference which is one of the important indicators for the development of the advanced computing industry. At present, what important measures does Hunan take in the ecological construction of the advanced computing industry and related industries?

Chen Xiaohong: In the field of super-computing, Hunan is in the leading position at home and even in the world. At present, Hunan Province is focusing on the development of advanced computing and artificial intelligence to build Xiangjiang Laboratory, a high-level platform for science and technology innovation. In order to meet the major strategic needs of national innovation-driven development, Xiangjiang Laboratory strengthened basic research and applied basic research, broke through a series of "bottleneck" technologies and key core technologies for “starting from scratch”, promoted the deep integration of advanced computing, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies with equipment manufacturing, information innovation, the Internet of Things and other industries, and accelerated the promotion of digital economy quality and efficiency improvement and smart society governance innovation, Build a strategic scientific and technological force in the field of advanced computing and artificial intelligence, become the original theoretical research center of the national information technology application innovation industry, the commanding heights of key technology innovation and the modern industry empowerment base, and strive to make independent and positive contributions in the field of high-level science and technology. This is not only the mission entrusted by the provincial party committee and provincial government but also our responsibility.

Scientific Understanding of the Development Trend of Advanced Computing

OutlookWeekly: What are the main development trends of advanced computing, and how should we take measures to adapt to this economic and social progress?

Chen Xiaohong: From a comprehensive analysis, I think the development of advanced computing is mainly based on four trends.

First, data growth and industry demand are driving accelerated development of the advanced computing industry. It is predicted that by 2025, the global data scale is expected to grow from 33ZB (Zettabytes) in 2018 to 175ZB, and the demand for data storage, transmission and processing shows a growth trend in an exponential way. The magnanimity, polymorphism, heterogeneity and timeliness of IoT data put forward higher requirements for edge computing; The demand level of AI for computing power is far beyond the development level of general computing technology, thus accelerating the development of heterogeneous computing technology. VR/AR, self-driving technology and other emerging application technologies also need the ability to process massive data in real time and the support of interactive delay function.

Second, systematic and comprehensive structural innovation of advanced computing is developing. From the hardware innovation focusing on distributed computation, chip technology and structure, it gradually expands in parallel to the innovation in materials, algorithms, software and other aspects, and finally covers to the development and application of basic theories. The diversification of computing power in the data center has become a trend, and the development of generalization and specialization of computing chips will go hand in hand; The system architecture will evolve from a general-purpose processor centric to a memory-centric one. The basic computing mode is evolving towards multi-core parallel computing, heterogeneous parallel computing, edge computing and other architectures in a new way. The vertical integration of software and hardware systems is becoming the new direction of the future development.

Third, the information field has developed from a single-point scenario to a diversified layout. With the development of big data, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and other emerging technologies, advanced computing will further expand from electronic information, software information and other application fields to interactive integration and deep penetration with various industrial fields, including industry, transportation, education, finance, medical care, retail industry, entertainment and many other fields. In the future, advanced computing will play a decisive role and have a subversive impact in the fields such as big data analysis, machine learning, chemical reaction, material design, drug synthesis, password cracking, military meteorology and so on.

Fourth, the computing power, algorithm, and data of advanced computing are being updated rapidly. The innovation and evolution of computer hardware units and architecture, as a foundation, provide strong support for building an advanced and inclusive new computing society. The advanced level of the algorithm is constantly rising, and the traditional silicon-based computing technology is expanding to the field of brain-inspired computingand high-performance computing; Computing technology combined with quantum technology, photon technology and other frontier theoretical frameworks has become a new computing direction. The data storage density and read-write efficiency of advanced computing are constantly improving, and the overall architecture is moving towards high performance, high reliability and high scalability; the compatibility between the computing unit and storage unit is getting better and better, which can realize high-efficient concurrent operation.

Accurately Grasp the Development Pulse of Advanced Computing in China

OutlookWeekly: How to objectively view the current development of China's advanced computing technology and industry?

Chen Xiaohong: I believe that thedevelopment of advanced computing in China is at a stage of making up for deficiencies and consolidating the foundation in order to accumulate power. With the digital economy becoming stronger, better and larger, and the modernization of the national governance system and governance capacity deepening, the development trend of advanced computing continues to move forward in a good direction.

At present, we basically have the conditions for the leap of advanced computing technology. The accelerate establishment of a "dual circulation" development pattern in which the domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while the international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement promoting each other has brought huge market demand to advanced computing, and the rapid development of the digital economy, such as online education, remote conference, online medical treatment, social e-commerce and so on, has brought more development opportunities for advanced computing. In recent years, China's massive data has evolved to isomerization, multi-mode, ubiquity and other forms, and a series of regional servers, personal computer brands and other applications in many industries have been popularized intensively. The ecological layout shows a "legion" rising trend, and the innovative ecosystem architecture of independent evolution is being formed at an accelerated pace.

We have played the world's leading role in some advanced computing fields. In recent years, China has made a number of original achievements in artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, quantum computing and other fields, and some achievements in some fields have been among the world's advanced ranks. For example, in the first half of this year, China has 173 supercomputers in the list of the Global Top 500 Supercomputers, ranking first place in the total number of supercomputers; Relying on the huge domestic market and user base in China, we continues to achieve breakthroughs in AI technology including voice, vision, sensing and other related fields.

The scale-driving effect of advanced computing has gradually emerged. In the global scope, China has the largest number of users and the most active data application market, its representative fields include artificial intelligence, intelligent manufacturing, automatic driving, the Internet of Things, etc. With the deepening of the application of the advanced computing industry in government decision-making, technology research and development and various industries, the industrial scale of all industries driven by its radiation effect will continue to expand.

At the same time, we need to be soberly aware that China's advanced computing technology and industry still have some shortcomings: for example, the original theory and core technology breakthroughs in super-computing, artificial intelligence, quantum computing, cloud computing and other fields need to be strengthened, the standard system construction needs to be improved, and the server operating system market is in a small scale, some technologies undergoing the theoretical level to the practical application level need to wait for some time, and some other situations need to be handled.

Preemptively Occupy the Commanding Heights of the Global Advanced Computing Industry

OutlookWeekly: From the perspective of the future prospects of advanced computing and the global industry trends, how to developadvanced computingindustry in China?

Chen Xiaohong:We need to preemptively occupy the commanding heights of the development of the global advanced computing industry from three aspects: improving theindustrial-technological innovation ability, strengthening the industrial ecosystem construction and enhancing international cooperation.

First of all, we should make every effort to improve the innovation capability of the advanced computing industry.

In terms of computing power, we need to focus on achieving breakthroughs in high-end general-purpose chip research and development, and continue to improve the single-core, multi-core and multi-threaded processing capabilities of general-purpose processors. We should develop the next-generation distributed advanced storage system based on a memory network, and strive to successfully research the preparation and integration technology of large capacity and ultra-high energy storage density capacitors. We will focus on developing high-end servers, develop open-source substrate management controller software with independent intellectual property rights and upgrade the performance of AI frameworks, chips, toolsets, etc.

In terms of the algorithm level, we should make every effort to develop a safe and reliable operating system, and make breakthroughs in system scheduling, memory management, virtualization and other core technologies of the operating system. At the same time, we also need to improve the database performance indicators, promote the development of reasoning acceleration algorithms such as open source community and unified database specification construction, computing tool chain suite, automatic model compression algorithm, and training acceleration algorithms such as automatic mixed precision algorithm.

In terms of the data level, we need to improve the data fusion analysis capability to achieve multi-source, remote and heterogeneous fusion analysis of massive data. At the same time, we should develop high-performance data storage technology, and promote the realization of cross-region, cross-data source side, edge data, cloud data collaboration, and efficient collaboration of storage technology, computing, and network. We will construct the unified specification of open-source big data engines and ecological standards, and improve the data service capabilities applicable to the integration of storage and computing.

In addition, we will build a basic application acceleration library with the CPU chip as the core, develop compilers and tool chains with intellectual property rights, and accelerate the breakthroughs in core technology research and development such as the programming model, compilation optimization, and virtual instruction set of the CPU chip.

Second, we should vigorously promote the construction of the computing industrialecosystem.

We will accelerate the development of software, platform integration, and application demonstration in advanced computing. Relying on the new infrastructure construction, we will promote the high-speed interconnection of global data, application integration, scheduling and distribution, and the comprehensive application of computing power, promote the further application of advanced computing technology, and complete the transformation from supply-level technology-driven to demand-level scenario-based application through the deep integration of industrial intelligent remodeling and the real economy, optimize the industrial ecosystem of "computing system+application+service", and strengthen the system cooperation of production, learning, scientific research, and practical application, as well as the coordination of R&D forces and the upstream and downstream collaboration of the industrial chain. We will research and formulate the industrial and enterprise supply chain security evaluation system to support enterprises to build a diversified supply chain system, and build open standards dominated by domestic intellectual property rights based on central processing units, memory, media, etc. We will strengthen the cultivation of innovative and entrepreneurial enterprises, maintain the leading position of key enterprises in major special innovation breakthroughs, build a professional maker space, and promote the development direction in specialized, refined, characteristic, and innovative enterprises, so as to form a good development situation in which all parties are deeply integrated and co-exist.

Third, we should actively strengthen international in-depth cooperation in the advanced computing industry.

We need to strengthen international cooperation in key industrial technology fields such as high-end chips, high-performance servers, advanced storage, new automotive electronic architecture and computing platforms, and achieve a development model that combines the introduction of capital, technology, and talent. We should vigorously promote the development of new international trade, explore high standards of data flow, privacy protection and other rules in conditional free trade zones and development zones, and promote the mutual recognition of each other's standards between pilot regions and relevant regions around the world. We will also encourage and support domestic and foreign enterprises and industry organizations to conduct in-depth exchanges and cooperation in the field of advanced computing in terms of standard development, technical validation, application exploration, etc. We will speed up the application of ecologically compatible laboratories, and promote the mutual compatibility and recognition of advanced technologies between China and other countries.


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