ISC 2015 offers up an architectural clash, so let battle commence

ARM, x86 going head-to-head in student cluster battle

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A re-enactment of the Battle of Gettysburg

HPC Blog The stage is set for an unprecedented architectural melee at the upcoming ISC 2015 Student Cluster Competition, in Frankfurt. For the first time, a student team will be bringing an ARM-based cluster to what has previously been an all-x86 competition.

(For the rare individual who doesn’t know about student cluster competitions and why they’ve taken the computer world by storm, here's some background info.)

We’re also going to see if the powerhouse South African CHPC team can complete the hat-trick and take home their third consecutive Overall Championship trophy. It’s a long shot to be sure, but not totally unprecedented.

I recorded a video (see further down) with Brian Sparks looking at the upcoming competition and competitors. Brian is the HPC Advisory Council Events Director and one of the main movers and shakers behind the ISC competition.

The fourth annual ISC Cluster Competition will feature eleven teams of undergraduates, representing universities from around the world.

Each team has had to secure sponsorships, design their cluster, learn how to tune it, and how to optimise their system for a variety of real-world HPC applications and benchmarks.

The only constraint on their system is a constantly monitored 3,000 watt power cap.

It’s quite a lot of work, and all of it in addition to their regular college activities (taking selfies, making up new slang, abbreviating words/phrases, and being offended by things).

Youtube Video

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