This article is about my experience a the Apsara Conference 2019, for the Instagram stories posts go to my Instagram profile.

 

 

The Conference

The Apsara Conference, also called “Yunqi Conference” in chinese, or “云栖大会”, is the biggest cloud computing & AI conference in Asia. This conference is held every year in Yunqi, Hangzhou (云栖, 杭州). The numbers talk for themselves, more than 75000 attendees from 81 countries and regions, 160+ summits and seminars organised and 1000+ tech talks. The key parts are online for you to watch. As an Alibaba Cloud MVP, I got free tickets for the 3 days that the conference lasts. Although the official first day of the conference was the 25th, me, as an MVP, I was invited to assist to the MVP Global Summit as well, which was held one day before (24th) and where I got awarded as MVP of the Year 2019.

 

 

The Conference went without a hiccup, and many cool stuff happened, including the amazing speakers’ topics and the exhibitions in the Hall A & B. Let’s have a look to some, from my point of view, key parts:

 

MVP Interview

I was interviewed by Wei Tong, Senior Content Marketing Strategist at Alibaba Cloud. We discussed about my motivations to become an MVP, talked about the evolution of the industry and explained how Alibaba Cloud is helping me develop my first SaaS product.

 

MVP Booth Tour

To help people understand what was going on in the different exhibitions, we made a tour showcasing the top activities inside the hall C. Don’t miss this videos if you want to see how bad at skateboarding I am.

 

Hanguang 800

If you know Alibaba just for AliExpress, start reading more on Internet, there are some surprises for you from that company. Zhang Jianfeng, head of Alibaba Damo Academy, showcased the company’s first self-developed AI chip, the Hanguang 800.

 

Alibaba's Hanguang 800 AI Inference Chip

Alibaba’s Hanguang 800 AI Inference Chip

 

It’s peak performance is 78,563 images per second in an inference image classification benchmark test on ResNet-50, four times higher than the current best AI microprocessors in the industry. The chip’s peak efficiency is 500 IPS/W, 3.3 times that of the second-ranked one.

 

SiPh 400G DR4 Optical Transceiver

They announced the launch of a 400G DR4 optical transceiver based on Silicon-Photonic (SiPh) technology to support its next-generation data center network. The new transceiver will be deployed in Alibaba Cloud‘s global data centers starting in 2020 and will increase the network speed by four times compared with current 100G optical transceivers.

 

 

The successful development of the SiPh 400G DR4 optical transceiver is the result of Alibaba’s long-term investment in these technologies. Through further cooperation within the industry, it is expected that the speeds of optical transceivers will reach 1T or higher in the next five years.

 

Conclusion

The International team at Alibaba Cloud went above and beyond their roles to make me feel like at home. Not only they took care of me during the events, but also outside the working hours, showing me around the city and making me feel some cultural immersion.