This year, the Student Cluster Challenge is organized for the third time by the HPC Advisory Council. Brian Sparks explained that the Challenge is growing in size. The first edition welcomed 5 teams, the second one 8, and now 11 teams are giving their best efforts to win the award. Every continent is represented in the Challenge, except Australia, with participating students from Brazil, South Korea, UK, USA, China, Germany, and so on. Airbus is sponsoring the contest. The Award Ceremony is scheduled on June 25, after the key note talk.
At the Intel booth Steven Chenoweth showed a demo in which the latest Intel Xeon processor supports the visualization with ray tracing of bacterial diseases, running GROMACS, an advanced molecular dynamics tool. He also demonstrated the Seismic Solver from the Leibniz Supercomputer Center, an earthquake physics application with petascale performance. He also introduced two codes: one for space weather and one for exascale in the DEEP project.
Gilad Shainer from Mellanox presented a 'champaign' moment with the launch of the 100 G EDR switch, a 7th generation switch, providing speed of data connection.
The Supermicro sales team had a special server in store with a memory of 1 Terabyte, 25% more memory than a traditional server and with the E7 series of Intel Xeon processors. They also showed a model with direct connection to PCI-express. Supermicro builds specific servers for specific applications. In fact, their servers are independent ecosystems.
T-Platforms introduced their new A-Class system with 256 nodes and 60 InfiniBand switches. This system already has an exascale infrastructure.
At HP, Ed Turkel announced the Apollo system, a brandnew technology. The Apollo 6000 is air-cooled and the Apollo 8000 is water-cooled. He also talked about the Moonshot system and the Helion Cloud self-service HPC solution.
Bull has been taken over by Atos. Communications manager, Pascale Bruna thought this to be a big opportunity for Bull to grow outside of France. She went on to present the mainstream technology with the B27 blade with Haswell processors. She also talked about the HD project with the University of Dresden that deals with collecting measurement data that can be used for several purposes, like for instance electrical consumption.
The Toshiba team presented their storage products including SSD and NAND flash memory. The NAND flash memory has a huge capacity of 5 Terabytes.
Huawei has a diversified family of servers, from low to high end. The portfolio is highly modular with an enhanced option for water cooling. This can save up to 50% or even 60%. The rackspace server maximizes the use of the available space. Huawei makes a variety of storage options possible.
In the Samsung booth, the differentiated solutions of the DDR4 were demonstrated. The V-NAND is the world's first NAND flash with a green memory, PCIe and flash mass production.
Andreas Olofsson, CEO at Adapteva had a first for the press audience. He launched the A1 system, the world's smallest and most energy-efficient supercomputing platform. The platform includes 2,112 independent high performance RISC processors, consumes less than 200 Watts and has a size of 15cm x 15cm x 68 cm. The A1 is based on the popular open source Parallella-64 single board computer. It includes
32 Epiphany-IV 64-core 28nm coprocessor chips; 32 Zynq dual-core ARM SOCs from Xilinx; 50 Gbits/sec proprietary inter-board communication links; Gigabit ethernet, and 15 GFLOPS/Watt efficiency. It is a very dense system with 66 cores per node. The cooling is still a challenge so the next step will be water cooling, Andreas Olofsson predicted.