Silicon Mechanics Sponsors MGHPCC Team in SC13 Student Cluster Competition


Silicon Mechanics announced that it is sponsoring the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) in the Student Cluster Competition at the SC13 Conference & Exhibition, taking place November 17-22, 2013, in Denver, CO.

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For the third year in a row, Silicon Mechanics is serving as a team sponsor. After identifying hardware partners and securing their commitment, Silicon Mechanics assembles and tests the cluster, and then ships it to the consortium for use in the competition. This year’s cluster, valued at over $118,000, includes hardware provided by partners Mellanox, Supermicro, Intel, Kingston, NVIDIA, and sTec. The HPC cluster contains eight compute nodes, four GPU nodes, and InfiniBand and Gigabit Ethernet networking.

“We are happy to support this activity and provide the team with leading interconnect technology,” said Scot Schultz, director of HPC and technical computing at Mellanox Technologies. “The competition helps HPC education and builds the next generation of HPC Professionals.”

The six-member MGHPCC team, which includes students from Boston University, Harvard University, MIT, University of Massachusetts, and Northeastern University, will compete in a 48-hour challenge to demonstrate the best sustained performance on four pre-determined applications.

While they are given the application areas in advance to familiarize themselves, students will not know the specific tasks until the challenge begins. This year’s team, comprised of computer engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, and physics majors, has already been busy practicing and optimizing the contest applications.

This year’s competition application areas include WRF (weather research and forecasting), a mesocale numerical weather prediction system; NEMO5, a multipurpose, multiscale, highly parallelized nanodevice simulation tool; GraphLab, a parallel computation abstraction tailored to machine learning; and a “mystery application,” which will be revealed at the competition.

The winning team will be determined based on a combined score for workload completed, benchmark performance, conference attendance, and interviews. Recognition will also be given for the highest LINPACK benchmark. The awards for the Student Cluster Competition will be announced at the SC13 Awards Ceremony on Thursday, November 21, 2013.

“Sponsoring the Student Cluster Competition is one of the highlights of the year, as Silicon Mechanics gets to put into practice its commitment to supporting state-of-the-art computing in higher education and research,” said Art Mann, Silicon Mechanics’ education / research / government vertical group manager. “We also enjoy being there to witness the spirit of learning, excitement, and good-natured but tough competition that this event represents.”