The NCHC 2008 in Review2009/02/02
1.1 High Performance Computing Service Achievements
In 2008, the NCHC's high performance computing facilities serviced more than 20 multi-disciplinary national projects, more than 700 National Science Council (NSC) projects, and more than 30 proprietary facility projects. Users of our HPC resources published more than 600 articles and 80 Ph.D. theses during 2008. In order to create a better relationship with our users, we also held a HPC Users Symposium, the focus of which was on tackling important issues such as global warming, energy creation and consumption, and earthquake engineering. This symposium allowed for cross pollination of many fascinating theories and ideas. In all, during 2008, we supplied 25 TFlops of computing power and 900 million SRUs to our users.
1.2 Academic Research Network Service Report
The NCHC provides world-class networking services to our HPC community. The TaiWan Advanced Research and Education Network's (TWAREN) uptime was 99.974% in 2008 whereas the Taiwan Academic Network's (TANet) uptime was at 99.993%. Access to international networks was at 99.988%. In order to increase our international networking and collaboration capability, we established a fiber-optic link to Prague, Czech Republic in 2008. The link spans two oceans and three continents and is linked via four major research networks. This link is currently the world's longest point-to-point fiber optic link. The link is used for medical video teleconferencing and international collaboration in education.
TWAREN participates in the CESNET2008 conference and assists in international point-to-point medical video teleconferencing. There were eight institutions from Taiwan, Japan, Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain participating in the event.
1.3 Storage Services Achievements
The NCHC provides storage services to over 700 domestic projects. In order to establish a shared national knowledge database, we collaborated with the NSC and the Science & Technology Policy Research and Information Center (STPI) to establish the NSC Humanities & Social Sciences Research Resources. Other databases include the Geographic Information Database, 3D Bio FlyCircuit Image Database, and the National Oceanic Database. The NCHC has effectively become the storage site of research data for Taiwan's research community.
1.4 Education Achievements
In 2008, the NCHC held 158 HPC-related instructional courses with more than 2,000 students enrolled therein. Estimated savings for Taiwan's high-tech industry is approximately USD $6 million. Digital courses were also uploaded online in order to provide a more comprehensive learning experience to students. Working with science volunteer organizations, the NCHC held ten K12 science camps and eight middle and elementary school teacher's learning camps.
1.5 Research Achievements
1.5.1 Increased Research in HPC Capabilities
In 2008, the NCHC began research on using graphics processing units (GPU) to increase HPC capability. This new technology was then promoted to the domestic research sector. Thus far, the NCHC has established seven small-scale GPU computing environments and plans to establish a GPU cluster in 2009.
1.5.2 HPC Applications Research
The NCHC's 2008 applications research focus included medical computing, hydrology, and photovoltaics. Regarding medical computing, we collaborated with Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to establish the Cranioplasty Surgery Platform and the Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform. These two platforms are used for patient diagnosis and pre-surgery evaluation.
Regarding hydrology research, the focus was on software program developments that model fluid dynamics and water flow in canals. The NCHC also accepted the "Extended Development of Platform to Integrate Hydrologic and Meteorological Observation" project from Taiwan's Water Resource Agency. The project seeks to create an integrated database and modeling platform to assist in disaster prevention.
Regarding photovoltaics research, the NCHC's focus was on green energy technology modeling. We collaborated with National Sun Yat-sen University, National Taiwan University, and National Chiao Tung University's Dr. Ming-Chang Lin on this project. The project seeks to create a high-efficiency and environmentally sound solid-state-based generator. In 2008, we published 14 photovoltaics research-based articles, five of which had an impact factor greater than three.
The cranial implant made using the Cranioplasty Surgery Platform greatly reduces the time needed for surgery and improves the fit and finish of the implant. By June 2008, a total of 31 successful cranioplasty surgeries were performed using this platform.
The Sleep Apnea Visual Diagnosis Platform is used to diagnose sleep apnea in as little as 5 minutes!
1.5.3 Next Generation HPC Technology Development
The NCHC's next-generation HPC technology research results for 2008 included development of the Diskless Remote Boot in Linux (DRBL)/Clonezilla platforms and the Co-Life platform. 2008 downloads for DRBL/Clonezilla surpassed 400,000 worldwide! DRBL/Clonezilla won first place in the National Applied Research Laboratories' (NARL) Notable Contribution to Technology Award. Related software, Tux2Live, also won the 6th Annual Golden Penguin award in the "Research Innovation" category.
The multi-participant video teleconferencing, Co-Life, supports video teleconferencing from up to 29 different sources. So far, Co-Life's most prevalent use has been in supporting online inter-school class participation. Over 50 educational institutions currently use Co-Life. Taiwan's Water Resource Agency also established 15 AV conference rooms using Co-Life. Co-Life offers a very high quality and stable video teleconferencing environment. Video teleconferencing reduces carbon emissions as well as increases collaborative opportunities.
National Chung Hsing University hosted a Co-Life promotion meeting.
1.5.4 Participation in National and Advanced Research Projects
The NCHC is collaborating with several organizations such as National Taiwan University's Department of Electrical Engineering, Academia Sinica's Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, and National Central University's Department of Physics to create high-energy laser and plasma simulations. We hope to establish a simulation environment in the very near future.
The NCHC also continues its collaboration with the Brain Research Center at National Tsing Hua University and U.S.A's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on the 3D Bio FlyCircuit Image Database. Dr. Ann-shyn Chiang's Fruit Fly Olfactory Diagram won the Executive Yuan's 2007 Notable Contribution to Technology Award.