Twelve teams of university undergraduates will travel from far and wide to prove their HPC and clustering prowess in a competition that will demand everything they have – and more.
Here’s how it works: students team with their faculty advisors and vendor partners to design and build the biggest, baddest, and fastest cluster possible. They can use any hardware or software, with the only proviso being that it has to be available on the general market. They then bring their hardware to ISC’16, where they’ll be running a grueling set of HPC benchmarks, HPC applications, and a few mystery applications to see which team comes out on top. The only catch is that their system can’t use more than 3,000 watts at any time. Going over the limit invalidates their result and may even result in a penalty.
Next week we’ll be seeing twelve teams representing seven countries:
- Boston Green Team – US
- Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC) – South Africa
- Huazhong University of Science & Technology – China
- Nanyang Technological University – Singapore
- NERSC – US
- Purdue University and University of Colorado, Boulder – US
- Shanghai Jiao Tong University – China
- Tsinghua University – China
- University of Hamburg – Germany
- Universitat Politècnica De Catalunya Barcelona Tech (UPC) – Spain
- University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) – China
- University of Tartu – Estonia
This should be a particularly exciting competition as we believe that it will mark the first time we’ll have three computing architectures vying for bragging rights. In addition to the usual bunch of clusters based on Intel’s x86 architecture, we should also see an ARM-based cluster and one based on IBM’s Power8 processor. Pretty exciting stuff, eh?
ISC cluster competition aficionado Brian Sparks and yours truly are in our best computer sports commentator mode as we introduce the teams and attempt to break down their games and discuss what they bring to the table. I also throw almost every Adobe Premiere video transition, from corner peels to shutters, into this one video masterpiece. Check it out, and stay tuned for additional coverage from the ISC’16 competition. We’ll be live on the ground in Frankfurt.