Dallas, TEXAS — For many computer system engineers, building a faster computer is a reward in itself. But at this year’s SC2000 conference of high performance computing and networking, there is an additional incentive for those who can build the best computer cluster for under $10,000.
Gordon Bell, a noted designer and advocate of cost-effective multiprocessor computers, is sponsoring cash awards for the top performers in the conference’s HPC Games. There will be a “Grand Prize Winner” for the team with the best all-around benchmark performance, and there will be several other prizes for “Fastest Cluster” (best performance on parallel benchmarks), “Fastest Single Node” (best performance on serial benchmarks), and “Most Innovative” for the best revolutionary design or unique approach. This year, SC2000 will be held Nov. 4-10 in Dallas.
The HPC, or High Performance Computing, Games have been a hallmark of the SC conference and bring a spirit of friendly competitiveness to an important objective – finding new ways to get the best performance out of computer systems. This year’s games add a new twist to the quest for high-performance scientific computing by putting a ceiling on the cost of the computer hardware to be used. This year’s high-performance computing challenge requires teams to construct the fastest computer cluster possible for under $10,000.
Time is short, but there is still plenty of room for more teams to join the “Battle of the Benchmarks.” Potential challengers must have a booth in the SC2000 exhibit hall, and must bring their machines to the floor to compete. However, there are no other restrictions as to the design of each team’s cluster.
Competitors will bring cluster machines to their exhibit booth at SC2000 and run an extensive suite of pre-selected serial and parallel benchmark programs to see who has the fastest CPUs, memory, network and I/O (input/output), and the best overall combination for scientific computing.
Teams can borrow machines or have them donated, or they can pool together existing PCs, workstations or cluster nodes to assemble a system, as long as the retail value as of Nov. 1, 2000, is under the $10,000 limit.
Please check the HPC Games web page http://www.sc2000.org/games for more information and the official rules.
Bell, who is currently a senior researcher in Microsoft’s Telepresence Research Group and a computer consultant-at-large who devotes time to startup ventures, has been designing computers for 35 years. His interest in multiprocessors began in 1965 with the design of Digital’s PDP-6 computer, one of the first multiprocessor computers and the first timesharing computer.
Since 1988, Bell has recognized the most significant achievements in applying high-performance computers to scientific and engineering problems by sponsoring annual cash prizes for those who post the best performance on a supercomputer and those who achieve the best price-performance calculations. The awards are presented at the end of each year’s SC conference.
SC2000 is sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture. For more information about the conference, go to http://www.sc2000.org/ .