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Vintage Year for the Student Cluster Competition

As proud sponsors of the Student Cluster Competition (SCC) this year, Allinea Software extends its congratulations to China’s University of Science and Technology, for coming top of the leader-board in the 48 hour marathon event at SC16 in Utah, this November.  This year turned out to be a significant SCC by any standards, firstly in marking the 10th anniversary of the international supercomputing competition and secondly in producing some remarkable achievements in terms of HPL LINPACK progress recorded with the winning team more than doubling the previous record breaking 12.57 Tflop/s set at ISC16, posting a staggering 31.15 Tflop/s.

The competition already highlights the future transformational face for HPC with the prospect of its young talent being unleashed into the market in the near future and when writing for the register, Dan Old points to the apparent impact of new hardware with the latest NVIDIA 100 series added into the mix. He reports that 50% of the 14 teams entered beat the previous ISC16 record. This latest SCC also witnessed the adoption of the new HPCG (High Performance Conjugate Gradient) benchmark, providing an additional perspective on performance.

But don’t be fooled that it’s just the numbers that matter in this competition. SCC Chair, Stephen Lien Harrell, explains that the competition is also designed to test each team’s ability to replicate and reproduce results in peer reviewed papers – something which is gaining relevance in the HPC community. For example, competing teams were tasked with reproducing results from an SC15 award winning paper which supports metagenomic assemblies. Students used Allinea Forge as well as other investigative tools to reproduce the results and compare them with those in the paper before documenting their results.”

Allinea VP Product, Mark O’Connor says: “We were delighted to sponsor the SCC again this year. It’s one of the highlights of the SC show for us and remains so relevant to the wider world of HPC. We gain huge pleasure from being around to support the students when doing analysis with our tools, getting involved with judging and just generally feeding off the great vibe surrounding this extraordinary event.”  

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