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Wu Hequan, academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said China may become the world's largest computer power in the future

via:新浪科技     time:2022/8/1 13:02:42     readed:105

The reporter | Jiang Jingling

With the development of digital economy, the explosive growth of data volume has put forward higher requirements for data computing capacity, making computing power a new key productivity after heat and electricity.

The 2022 China Computing Conference, the first state-level industry conference in the field of computing, was co-hosted by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and Shandong Provincial People's government, in Jinan on July 30. This is computing power in the field of national strategic level another pound action.

According to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the scale of China's computing power industry is growing rapidly, with an average growth rate of more than 30% in the past five years, ranking second in the world. According to the Information and Communication Institute's calculation data, by the end of 2021, the scale of China's computing core industry exceeded 1.5 trillion yuan, and the scale of related industries exceeded 8 trillion yuan.

China has a huge amount of data and a global advantage in intelligent computing power, Wu Hequan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, said in an interview. China may become the world's largest country in terms of total computing power in the future, but it still faces some obstacles in the process of converting computing power into productivity.

Computing threshold reduction has become a trend

Computing power is an important part of information infrastructure. Specifically, it refers to computing power or data processing ability, representing computing speed, computing method, communication ability, storage ability, cloud computing service ability, etc. It is a platform for carrying data and computing operation. In addition to large computing centers, the Internet of Things, mobile communication, edge computing, etc., all require different degrees of embedded computing power.

Due to the boom in artificial intelligence, China has a prominent global advantage in intelligent computing power due to the joint efforts of government and enterprises, but the country still faces obstacles in the process of converting computing power into productive forces, Wu said. Among them, the most prominent is the lack of data storage and utilization.

Currently, computing power is not available on demand like electricity. 'Computing power requires computing, and computing requires models, which are trained on big data,' Mr. Wu said. 'This means that the threshold for computing power modeling is very high, and only a few companies are doing this.'

"What we want is to lower the power bar." Wu Hequan said that at present, some foreign enterprises have opened the hardware server resources, including computing power algorithm model platform. In China, Baidu, Alibaba, Huawei and other large enterprises have also opened their platforms, which means that small and medium-sized enterprises can use these platforms for data training as long as they have the willingness and demand. "China has realized the trend of making computing power easier and lowering the threshold of computing power use."

Data centers need to be more collaborative

Data centers are at the heart of the computing industry. The country will build national computing hub nodes in eight areas, including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area, Chengdu-Chongqing, Inner Mongolia, Guizhou, Gansu and Ningxia, and plan 10 national data center clusters, according to a notice on the "East and West Computing" project released in February.

Wu Hequan said that this is the country at the macro level to guide the rational layout of data centers, not only balance computing power, but also reflect the reasonable distribution of energy, but also promote the coordinated development of the region, is a measure to kill more than one stone.

But within the hub, there are data centers built by different companies. Mr Wu believes that the current collaboration between data centres is still not enough. He suggested that local governments should coordinate, including optimizing public energy, power, and water, as well as the bandwidth of the export trunk, and strengthening the backup complementarity between data centers. For example, how to coordinate the communication lines and trunk transmission between the primary and standby data centers of large data centers.

Coordination between East and west also needs to be optimized. "For example, we want data centers in Gansu and Ningxia to collaborate with data centers in Shanghai, and we want heat data from the east to be transferred to the west. Who communicates between the two places? This requires planning and deployment of cross-domain data center collaboration at the national level. Of course, it will take time." Mr Wu said.

Then there's the utility issue of today's data centers. Wu Hequan pointed out that at present, China's data center on the shelf rate in 55% or so, use is not sufficient. "When a large data center is built, if users and the market can't keep up, and the chips become obsolete after a year and a half of being idle, the data center will not be built."

As an asset-heavy industry, data centers have a slow return on investment. In the past, the development of data centers in western China was mainly based on rack rental and server hosting. Wu compares it to "digital real estate", that is, to rent space mainly, value-added services are few.

He believes that the west will provide more value-added services in the future, and gradually extend the business to the front end of data, such as data cleaning, labeling, preprocessing, etc., which are mostly completed by manpower at present. In addition, the installation, wiring, cooling and security of the data center room and server also require a lot of manpower. In the case of conditions, it can also be developed to the back-end of the industry, such as the use of algorithms and computing power.

"The west should seize the opportunity, while seizing the central link, gradually extend to the whole industrial chain." "Mr. Wu said.

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