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Boiler Makers swing hammer at SC12, Team Taiwan tries for a three-peat

Video Team Taiwan (from Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University) has a chance to become a three time Overall Award winner at the SC12 Student Cluster Competition here in Salt Lake City. They notched their first win at SC10 in New Orleans, repeated the feat the next year in Seattle, and are now looking for the hat trick in Salt …

Scraggly student veterans bid for SC12 victory

A couple of old-timer teams round out the field at the upcoming SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) in Salt Lake City. These contests started in 2007 and between them, these two teams have participated in a total of nine matches. Each school has six team members plus three advisors/coaches. Let’s assume that the competition …

Meet the all-girl HPC cluster boffins of 'Team Venus' - on Video

It's time to meet some of the Big Iron cluster war contenders. Team Venus, the all-female Student Cluster Competition (SCC) team from the University of the Pacific, tells us how they found their way into the competition in their profile video below. They also discuss how they’re looking to encourage women to enter STEM ( …

Brazilian whacks fast pipes on racks – and more in our student video special

ASC14 logo Welcome to the second batch of video profiles of the sixteen university teams competing for supercomputing glory at the ASC14 student cluster-building competition. China’s NUDT (National University of Defense Technology) is another team that could take home the ASC14 cluster crown and cash. (There’s no real crown, …

HPC cluster cowboys bag overall award, haul it home to Texas

Video I caught up with Team Longhorn just before they turned in their final results for the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). As you can see in the short video, they’re pretty cool and composed, but I thought I sensed a little bit of anxiety under the surface. As it turns out, they should have been more relaxed – they were …

NUDT on HPC battle: Total cluster supremacy - Who needs it?

Video Team NUDT (China’s own National University of Defense Technology) was all smiles when I stopped by their booth on the final day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). And what’s not to smile about? They had just won the LINPACK award with their record-breaking 3 Teraflop/s score and were considered a serious …

Computer sports betting pool: WIN PILES OF virtual CASH!

As the greatest event in computer sports – the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) – prepares to kick off next week, tension is rising worldwide. Hordes of fans and industry insiders are analysing the computing tasks, picking their favorite team or teams, and arguing about it with their friends and even their enemies. We’ve …

10,000 cities, 1 salesman, 6 nodes: It's LittleFe cluster CRUNCH TIME

Video It was the last day of last week’s SC12 Student Cluster Competition, and Pennsylvania university students Team Slippery Rock chatted to us during the LittleFe battle. In this competition track, teams of university students (plus a high school team) pushed their six-node LittleFe mini-iron to the limit, attempting to find …

Tianhe-1A schoolkids bring their best game, GPUs to cluster punchup

Video: Here’s a look at one of the two Chinese entries into the SC12 Student Cluster Competition. These kids are from the University of Science and Technology and are not only battling their cluster competitors, but are also fighting jet-lag, 8.5 inches (21cm) of snow, and my inability to speak slowly/clearly enough to be …

Cluster compo newcomers slap down winning hand: 6 NVIDIA Tesla cards

Video Here’s a short look at what the team from China’s University of Science & Technology was up to on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC). There’s a pretty big language barrier here – one that’s made worse by my inability to speak slowly and clearly after drinking a quart of press room coffee. (A note/ …

Team Boilermaker: We hammer the code... not the booze

Video We had a chat with Team Boilermaker on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition. While the team did visit several of the vendor parties the night before, they assert that they didn’t overindulge, and claim that the absence of some team members is due to meetings, not hangovers. I think I buy that explanation; …

Team Venus disappears at computer sports smackdown

Video It was an exciting start to the real-time, non-stop 48-hour cluster challenge, in which the teams of undergrads design and assemble a small cluster and race to demonstrate the greatest sustained performance across a series of applications. Here’s a short video covering the beginning of the SC12 edition of the Student …

FINAL NIGHT: Boston kids power down cluster compo systems

Early on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition, I hit a couple of morning meetings and then went wandering around the competition area. Most of the teams had at least two or three reps in the booths monitoring the systems and just sort of hanging around. They had turned in their final scientific results the night …

Texans forget deep fryer, add GPUs to lasso data-crunching crown

Meet the 2012 edition of the Texas Longhorn Student Cluster Competition team. This video was shot right after they received the scientific application data sets and had begun their initial processing. We discuss how they parcel up the work in their cluster and how they now have tools that give them a much better idea of what …
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Meet the cluster teams: Chinese Fortune Rookies, Team Venus 2.0

Here's another up close and personal look at two of the Standard Track (Big Iron) teams that competed for the SC13 Student Cluster Competition in Denver crown (there still isn't any actual crown, however.) Both teams have competed before, but they're staffed by almost completely new personnel. National University of Defense …

Excited students, $2,500, quivering racks and dreams of glory

The new "Commodity Track" of the upcoming SC13 Student Cluster Competition has hit a chord with cluster competition aficionados worldwide and Register readers alike. I laid out the terms of this competition in a recent story, and plenty of you weighed in with recommendations on how these kids could get the most HPC bang out of …

Team Taiwan: We're ready to win this thing

Video I’ve covered Taiwan’s National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) Student Cluster Competition team for three years now. And every time I talk to them they’re personable, friendly, and modest. Very modest. Too modest. This is a team with a serious pedigree that’s backed up by the best track record in the game. First of all, …

Students schlep from afar to join the quest for international HPC glory

Three teams of students will be jetting in from overseas to enter this year's Student Cluster Competition, due to kick off on November 18 at the annual SC13 Supercomputing Conference.</p? The teams will be competing in the Big Iron division where undergraduate students design, build, and tune their very own HPC clusters. They’ll …

Comp sci boffins Venus: HPC newbies post respectable score

Video We spent a few minutes on the last day of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) talking to Team Venus from the University of the Pacific. This is not only their first year in the cluster competition, but also the first time any of the students have done anything at all HPC-related. Under the mentorship of Oak Ridge …
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Meet the cluster teams: High schoolers and even more Boston

Four teams brought their $2,500 clusters to SC13 in an effort to prove that they alone can get the most FLOP/s out of their cheap gear. We've already covered the teams from Slippery Rock University and Arizona State, now let's get a gander at the other two teams. Skyline High School (Team Skyline) Team Skyline is the youngest …

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

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 …

Meet the cluster teams: Can Slippery Rock or Sun Devils burn?

Here's an up close and personal look at two of the four teams that competed in the SC13 Commodity Track Cluster Competition. These teams could build anything their hearts desired as long as the total cost was less than $2,500 (US). University of Slippery Rock (Team Rock) This is the second year that Slippery Rock has fielded a …

China's supercomputing whizzkids: Busting out a 8.224 teraflops cluster? Guilty as charged

China’s National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) grabbed the LINPACK award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. NUDT topped all other competitors with a score of 8.224 TFLOP/s. NUDT’s LINPACK win isn’t a surprise to competition observers, the team hails from the home of Tianhe-1 and Tianhe-2, …

Free HPC cluster to good home

Interested in getting your hands on some serious system hardware for free? Well, with a few provisos, you could get your hands on a nearly new HPC cluster. First off, you'll need to be in the research game - in a US- or Canada-based academic or government lab, or some other non-profit research institution. (We’re talking about …
Summer Palace, outside Tsinghua University. Pic by Bridget Coila, licensed under Creative Commons

China tries for 2012 WORLD cluster compo DOMINATION

According to Chinese astrologers, 2012 is the Year of the Dragon, and it’s certainly been a most auspicious year for Chinese HPC student cluster teams. So far this year*, China has completely dominated the Student Cluster Competition circuit. China's Tsinghua and NUDT university teams took both the Overall and highest LINPACK …

Team Utah grabs Mini Iron crown at little cluster compo

Until this year, the annual SC Student Cluster Competition focused entirely on seeing how much work teams of university students could wring out of 26 amps of juice. They can use any hardware/software combination that will run the required apps; the only limitation is that their configuration has to be shipping by the time of …

Olympics is over, prepare for a COMPUTER SPORTS SMACKDOWN

It’s November, which can mean only one thing for computer sports enthusiasts: it’s time for another Student Cluster Competition. The seventh edition of this annual event begins in about two weeks at the SC12 conference in beautiful Salt Lake City, Utah. The competition pits teams of university undergrads against each other in a …

Snow and ice fail to freeze battlin' Big Iron bots in their tracks

It's time, once again, to meet some more plucky contenders in the SC12 Student Cluster Competition. Team Slippery Rock We meet the Slippery Rock team for the first time. They’re competing in the Mini Iron LittleFe division of the cluster-building contest. In the video they explain their strategy for achieving the best …

Video: High school kids fend off university challenge in student cluster battle

The SC Student Cluster Competition (SCC) has seen university teams from around the world vying to prove their cluster competence. But this year has been marked by a number of firsts, including the first team composed entirely of high school students. The Skyline High School Eagles, located in Salt Lake City, entered the LittleFe …

What happens when you give undergrads $2,500 to build a HPC rig out of commodity parts? This...

The team from Bentley University and Northeastern University took the first ever Commodity Track Overall Championship award at the recently concluded SC13 Student Cluster Competition. In this competition, student teams had to build a true HPC cluster (at least two nodes), while spending a maximum of $2,500. After building and …
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All-female code-crunching boffin team aims for cluster compo glory

A couple of new – and quite different – teams are looking to shake things up at next week’s SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) in Salt Lake City. For the first time, we’ll see a coalition of elite schools combine forces to take on their more experienced competitors. We will also see another SCC first: an all-female team. …
SoftLayer&#39;s data center

Two Texan teams tool up, ride out to enormo cluster shootout

People in most US states would be ecstatic (or, perhaps, totally indifferent) to hear that one of their universities made it to the 2012 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) in Salt Lake City, but the state of Texas wanted more - so it's sending two teams to the Great Salt Lake Siege. Details on cluster-building competition rules, …

Young HPC warriors grab Big Irons, whack away at Cold War plutonium waste

The apps for this year’s edition of the SC12 Student Cluster Competition are the typical mix of HPC workloads, chosen to represent a range of scientific disciplines and computational challenges. In order to drink deeply from the chalice of victory student teams will need to crawl inside each of the apps, find the bottlenecks, …

High school kids wrestle uni students in mini-cluster match

Now that the US elections are over, it’s obvious that the world’s attention has shifted to the upcoming Student Cluster Competition (SCC), which will kick off next Monday at SC12 in Salt Lake City. The traditional ‘Big Iron’ competition (details here) has teams of undergraduates benchmarking their home-grown clusters to see …
Predator drone, credit Wikipedia

How were your hols, cluster kids? Oh, partied, studied... did we mention WE BUILT DRONES

Among the five teams who will be defending America’s Big Iron honour at the upcoming Student Cluster Competition (SCC) are a few students who skipped the keg parties to, er, build, fly, program and optimise the performance of unmanned aerial vehicles. These students will do battle, beginning on 18 November at the SC13 conference …

Cluster cake pulled open: Oozes cores, GPU gravy, mineral oil

At last, I can reveal the final configurations of the systems the SC12 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) warriors brought to Salt Lake City last week. Here’s the gear they were running… First, kudos to all of the sponsors who generously provided so much equipment at no cost to the cluster crown competitors. (There isn’t a real …
SoftLayer&#39;s data center

Why gov labs presenting HPC tech ≠ officials wolfing overpriced sushi

Our buddy Rich Brueckner over at insideHPC broke some news this week when he published a story about new conference and travel spending restrictions that might radically scale back US government agency participation in HPC industry events like the upcoming SC12 conference in Salt Lake City this November. The new strictures are …

Vid: EXTREME computer sports: Meet the cluster war winners

The 2012 Student Cluster Competition (SCC) is in the books and we have all of the results, right here, right now. First, as was released earlier, China’s Team NUDT ran away with the Highest LINPACK Award, an SCC record 3.014 Teraflop/s score. Their compatriots, Team USTC, locked in second place with 2.793 Teraflops/s, and the …

Mellanox stretches InfiniBand across campuses, metro areas

With InfiniBand on the march, taking market share away from Ethernet in the upper echelons of the supercomputer racket, Mellanox Technology could sit back and enjoy itself a little. But instead, the company is tweaking its InfiniBand lineup to make its switches and adapters more appealing and to keep InfiniBand rolling. The …

AMD said to hire JPMorgan Chase to explore its options

Well, that didn't take very long. Reuters reports that chipmaker AMD is doing the old "exploring its options" routine, and has hired investment bankers at JP Morgan Chase to help it do that exploring. According to the report – which cites the usual "sources familiar with the situation," and in fact says it has three different …

Red-hot students, an all-day romp and an £11,000 bonanza

Red-hot cluster-building students from Tsinghua University in Beijing stepped up their already high-level game - and took two of the three awards up for grabs at the inaugural Asia Student Cluster Challenge (ASC’13) finals last week in Shanghai. ASC’13 is the first leg in 2013’s Student Cluster Competition Triple Crown - a long- …
The PCI card housing a Xeon Phi coprocessor

Intel Xeon Phi battles GPUs, defends x86 in supercomputers

Intel's Xeon Phi might have started out with the goal of creating an x86-based graphics engine, but it ended up defending the x86 architecture's hegemony in high-performance computing against the onslaught of GPU coprocessors from Nvidia and AMD. However, it ends up being a battle among GPUs anyway – but in a different market …

Cluster padawans vie for place in Shanghai super showdown

The 2013 Student Cluster Competition season is off to a roaring start judging by the high level of interest in the inaugural Asia Student Supercomputer Challenge (ASC13), which will kick off in Shanghai in mid-April. Right now, the judges are sorting through the 42 applications submitted by universities from a wide swath of the …

Mellanox shoots higher and lower with long-haul switches

InfiniBand and Ethernet switch maker Mellanox Technologies, recently hammered because it missed its latest quarterly results big-time and gave a weak forecast for the first quarter, is sticking to its switched-fabric knitting and expanding its product portfolio, making good on its promise to flesh out a series of long-haul …

Could you build a data-nomming HPC beast in a day? These kids can

Student cluster-building competitions are chock full of technical challenges, both “book learning” and practical learning, and quite a bit of fun too. I mean, who wouldn't want to construct a HPC rig against the clock and kick an opponent in the benchmarks? Here's what involved in the contests. Whether you’ve been following the …
The FirePro S10000 dual-GPU card

AMD fires off crazy-fast FirePro double-whammy GPU card

AMD, a company that knows a thing or two about building powerful graphics processors, has whipped out a card that has more flops than either Nvidia's K20 high-end GPUs or Intel's x86-based Xeon Phi coprocessors. That's one sure way to cut through all the noise that Nvidia and Intel are making about their just-released offerings …
The Tesla K20 GPU coprocessor card

Nvidia launches not one but two Kepler2 GPU coprocessors

The wait for the "Kepler2" GPU coprocessors based on the company's GK100 GPUs is over. That's the good news. The bad news is that you may have to hurt someone – or call in a favor at Nvidia – to get your hands on one, because so many people are going to be looking for one to goose their number-crunching. And you'll have to get …

Tsinghua, NUDT flatten rivals in ISC cluster smackdown

The 2012 ISC Student Cluster Challenge ended last week, and it’s high time we take a look at the winners, the awards and some of the results. Each of the five teams put in months of work designing its cluster and learning how to optimise it to run the various benchmarks and application codes featured in the competition. They …
Accelerator nodes for the UV 2000 sporting Xeon Phi and Tesla coprocessors

SGI UV 2000 supers are Intel and Nvidia inside

Supercomputer makers used to stuffing processors and networks into machines to build clusters or shared memory systems have to adapt their machines to take advantage of various kinds of compute accelerators that offers cheaper flops, and Silicon Graphics is no exception. To that end, the company has reworked its high-end UV 2000 …
Oak Ridge Titan logo

Oak Ridge lab: Behold, I Am TITAN, hear my 20 petaflop ROAR

Oak Ridge National Laboratories is really eager to talk about the "Titan" supercomputer, which weighs in at more than 20 petaflops of performance and which has just been activated this month. In fact it's too eager to wait until the SC12 supercomputing trade show in November to give out all the feeds and speeds. Cray and Nvidia …