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Sweaty European youngsters get to grips with ‘coffee table of doom’

It's the last day of the students' high-performance cluster battle

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HPC blog It was a hot week in Leipzig - "sweating through your shirt five minutes after you walk out of your hotel" hot. However, extreme heat and even the resulting prickly heat won’t keep us from checking in with all of the teams during the last day of the ISC’13 Student Cluster Challenge.

First up are the teams from Europe:Team Chemnitz: They’re still putting their "coffee table of doom" through its paces. This is the system that combines eight Intel Phi and eight NVIDIA Kepler accelerators in the same cluster.

While some might regard this system as a frightening mutant creation that should never see the light of day, others see massive performance potential, assuming that it can somehow be throttled down to fit within the 3,000 watt ISC’13 power cap. To get a last-minute update on the Germany team, and get a look at their cool GROMACS display, check out the video here.

Team Edinburgh: We spend the first minute or so of the video arguing whether Scotland is located on an island. My point is that it occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. I could barely hear their counter-arguments over the incredibly loud noise coming from the Purdue cluster next door.

We do move on to discuss more weighty topics, like how the team is doing in the competition. Edinburgh ran into many of the same difficulties as other teams in the battle this year – a tough set of applications, difficult data sets, and never enough time. That said, they seem satisfied with how they’re approaching the finish line and optimistic about their chances. ®

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