BSC and FIB-UPC team participates virtually in the ISC Student Cluster Competition 2020


Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ISC20 conference has been transformed into a virtual event.
10 Jun 2020 Barcelona - The team "Not Only FLOPs", made up of six students from the Facultat d'Informàtica de Barcelona (FIB-UPC) and guided by six advisors from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), are participating in a new edition of the Student Cluster Competition at the ISC20 Conference. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ISC20 conference has been transformed into a virtual event, and the HPC Advisory Council, organizing the Student Cluster Competition, decided to keep the competition allowing all teams to race using the National Supercomputing Centre (NSCC) cluster in Singapore as a playground.

The NotOnlyFLOPs team has been trained since December 2019 by six BSC researchers. Students and advisors met weekly at BSC premises until the Covid-19 outbreak forced the lockdown. The training continued on video conference during March and April with the rising apprehension that ISC would be canceled, as indeed happened.

The NotOnlyFLOPs team had also to face another change as the original idea was to participate with a cluster powered by Arm CPU, the same technology we carry on our pockets enclosed in our phones. Due to the new rules of the competition, the team had to abandon the original plan and migrate to the NSCC cluster, which is powered by standard Intel processors plus NVIDIA GPU accelerators.

The organizers of the competition assigned to the 14 international teams six challenges: four complex HPC applications, the Coding Challenge, and the AI challenge. Teams will be awarded considering the performance of the proposed solutions and the technical interview of a panel of international judges. A special "Fan Favourite Award" is given to the most on-line voted team.

Source: Barcelona Supercomputing Center - BSC