November 20, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 20 -- The SC08 Cluster Challenge event in Austin, Texas, was an unmitigated success, that was full of roller coaster rides in computer computation for all of the students involved.
The challenge is based on a university team made up of 6 student and an adviser. The teams work with hardware vendors to optimize their hardware to work under 26AMPS of power. Their main goal is to get their hardware to run the best with the provided scientific applications.
The teams that took part in the Cluster Challenge this year are: Purdue University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arizona State University, University of Colorado, National Tsing-Hua University (Taiwan), University of Alberta (Canada), and the team comprised of Indiana University and Technische University Dresden.
On Monday, the teams started at 8am to run the HPCC portion of the challenge. This ended at 4pm with the National Tsing-Hua University in Taiwan with a score of 703GFLOPS. Purdue University took the overall highest score to dominate the HPCC part of the challenge.
In the overall competition, involving the scientific applications of WPP, OpenFOAM, RAXML, POY, and GAMESS, all of the teams worked extremely hard for 44 hours straight. This required the students to work in shifts around the clock, keeping fueled by chips, soda and pizza. Several of the students were found to be sleeping in their booths and under tables on more than one occasion. At the close of the competition, the students were interviewed by a panel of expert computational scientists. This league of distinguished judges was headed up by Jake Dongarra from University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
After all the points were awarded to each team, the overall winner of the Cluster Challenge for SuperComputing 2008 was the combined team of the University of Indiana and Technische Universitat Dresden.
The Purdue University Team received the an award for the most power efficiency usage during the competition.
The University of Colorado received an award for the best "Cluster Challenge Spirit" for their team work and effort to compete in the challenge despite all of the obstacles the team came across during the hours of the competition.
We wish to thank our sponsors for all of their help in making the challenge a great success: Western Geco, Morgan Stanley, and Chevron and the SuperComputing organization.
We also wish to thank the vendors who contributed their time and expertise to the students before the competition and on the show floor: SciCortex, SGI, IBM, HP, Cray, Aspen Systems, Dell and Direct Data Networks.
Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
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