Feeds

Chinese baby war-boffins bust 3Tflops, snatch student LINPACK crown

Aw jeez, the zero button on my calculator's broken

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

SC12 Salt Lake City is abuzz with news that China's NUDT team has once again snared the LINPACK benchmark crown at a student cluster-building competition. The team's record-breaking score of 3.014 TFLOPS topped all other competitors and marked the first time a student cluster team has broken through the 3 TFLOPS barrier.

This is the second LINPACK win for NUDT (China's National University of Defense Technology) in less than a year: the group's HPC system also scored highest in the benchmark at the ISC'12 competition in Hamburg in June.

Teams from China took both of the top LINPACK slots at SC12 last night, the other being USTC (University of Science and Technology of China).

Team Longhorn came third with 2.488 TFLOPS. Student clustering buffs may recall that Team Longhorn was one of the first teams to achieve a TFLOP in the 2010 competition in New Orleans, so it's not surprising to see them posting a score in the top echelon.

I was surprised to see Team Venus land in the number four spot, beating other more experienced competitors. It's a great result given their relative inexperience with HPC and clustering in general. Team Taiwan and Team Boilermaker (from Purdue University) came fifth and sixth, respectively.

Under the SCC rules, teams have almost no ability to make changes to their hardware once they settle on their final configuration. In other words, they can't run a whole bunch of power-hungry GPUs for a certain workload and then physically detach them or put them to sleep in order to save power when running other less GPU-friendly workloads.

This makes sense - it ensures that the 26 amp power cap actually has teeth. As a result, some teams may configure their system in a way to perform better on scientific applications (which will make up the majority of their overall score) rather than capture the highest LINPACK.

Linpack results: 1. NUDT (China) 2. USTC (China) 3. Team Longhorn 4. Team Venus 5. Team Taiwan 6. Team Boilermaker (Purdue) 7. Team Boston

The LINPACK line-up

This rule turned out to have an effect on Team Chowdah's (Boston) LINPACK score. Because the group wasn't allowed to put certain components and nodes to sleep, it had to power down two nodes completely. This means it was two nodes short of a full system on both the LINPACK and application runs - which will definitely throw some sand in their chowder.

While this definitely had an impact on LINPACK, we're not sure exactly what this means for Chowdah's scientific application runs. In other words, the team still has a chance at the overall SCC crown.

More SCC History

I plotted out the history of LINPACK scores since the inaugural SCC way back in November of 2007 in Reno. After the first few years, the assembled clusters' performance has satisfyingly ramped up from SC09 (0.7 TFLOPS) to today's huge score of more than 3 TFLOPS.

Top SCC Linpack (TFLOPS)

How performance has improved over time in student-built clusters

Here's a test question for the readers: is the growth in LINPACK scores by the SCC teams larger or smaller than what we'd expect to see with Moore's Law? ®

You can find more coverage of the student cluster competition as well as SC12 supercomputer news right here

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Ellison: Sparc M7 is Oracle's most important silicon EVER
'Acceleration engines' key to performance, security, Larry says
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Lenovo to finish $2.1bn IBM x86 server gobble in October
A lighter snack than expected – but what's a few $100m between friends, eh?
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
Hey, what's a STORAGE company doing working on Internet-of-Cars?
Boo - it's not a terabyte car, it's just predictive maintenance and that
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.