Polite, subdued, and with an air of confidence and competence, the NTHU (National Tsing Hua University) team from Taiwan quietly went about their business during the Student Cluster Competition prep time on Sunday.
They were all smiles to the people passing by, but all business in terms of HPC clustering. It’s an experienced institution that’s fielded two teams in the past. But this team is new to both SCC and HPC, which is why they’ve been training with veterans from past teams.
One thing that they do have is organization and real-world experience. They were completely set up and well into final tweaking by the time I caught up to them on Sunday. On the hardware side, they’re using gear provided by sponsor Acer. More specifically, we’re talking dual six-core Intel processors backed up by 24 GB memory per node and connected by quad data rate infiniband.
Is it enough to put them over the top this year? The team member we speak to on the video figures they have a 50-50 chance, and from his perspective, he’s quite correct. They either win it all or they don’t – it’s binary. The actual probability is unknown, of course; there is a lot of competing to do between now and when the results are announced on Thursday. Stay tuned…