SC19 Official Results: Tsinghua Rules Again

By Dan Olds

December 16, 2019

Time to reveal, then slice/dice and analyze the hell out of the SC19 Student Cluster Competition results. It was a hard-fought battle with several teams vying for championship glory. Although everyone pushed hard, someone had to win, right? With that, let’s go to the results.

The Interview

The interview portion of the competition is when judges visit each team and grill them about, well, everything.

They ask questions about how they selected the components of their cluster and why it is configured the way it’s configured. They ask about how they tuned the system and optimized each of their applications. There are also questions about how well the team worked together and queries aimed at seeing how well everyone pulled their weight on the team. The interview accounts for 15% of their overall score and these are easy points to pick up if the team is on the ball.

Tsinghua University picked up the lion’s share of the interview points with a score of 94%. Team Warsaw pulled into second place on the interview with a score of 86% – not too shabby, eh? Nanyang and Washington tied for third with NC State getting honorable mention for their 84.67% result.

The Benchmarks

As we reported earlier, Nanyang Technological University (Team Nanyang:  The Pride of Singapore) took home the top slot on both LINPACK and HPCG. Although these only counted for 15% of their final score, it was a great start and must have given them confidence for the application portion of the competition.

University of Washington took second place on LINPACK with Team Warsaw a very close third. On HPCG, Tsinghua nabbed second place with ShanghaiTech nailing down a third-place finish.

The Applications

The first application up is VPIC. If you’re looking for a general-purpose simulation for modeling kinetic plasmas, then VPIC is a great choice. If you want to do it in two or three spatial dimensions, then you gotta get you some VPIC, it’s what all the kids are using.

Our student competitors in general did fine with VPIC, but the top finishers did better than fine. As you can see on the table, NTHU and Team Warsaw both finished with identical 95% scores on this app. Tshinghua posted a very respectable 92.50%. The rest of the field recorded an average score of just over 76% with the median being higher at 82.05%.

The next application is something called Sparkle. As far as I can tell, it’s a cryptographic routine based on the block cypher SPARX, but with a wider block size and a fixed key. So, I guess, this is sort of a crypto based challenge for the students – maybe a type of blockchain-like hack?

Whatever it was, the students did pretty well on it. Nanyang just barely edged out NTHU for first place, with the Washington Huskies nipping at their heels. Just an eyelash behind Washington was ShanghaiTech, followed closely by Tsinghua. With a median score of 91.37, the rest of the pack wasn’t far behind.

It’s a different story for SST. This application is a tool used to simulate computer system designs. Users can simulate instruction set architectures along with cache, memory, programming models and communications to see if it all holds together or collapses into a big steaming pile.

This was a tight one! NTHU managed to edge out archrival Tsinghua for top honors by only a single point with their 99% score.

Tsinghua and Nanyang battled to a tie at 98%, with Shanghai Jiao Tong coming in third place with a lofty 97% result. Team Warsaw was in the thick of things with their 93%. Great job to all. The rest of the field seemed to have some problems with SST judging by the 67.50% average score. However, the median score of 74.50% shows us that teams either got this one or they didn’t – they either had high scores or suffered some real problems with SST.

The Reproducibility Challenge is where student teams have to replicate the results of a paper presented at the previous SC conference. The paper this year? “Computing planetary interior normal modes with a highly parallel polynomial filtering Eigensolver.” Now if that doesn’t get your heart racing, I don’t know what will.

Wake Forest notches their first win on this challenge, beating NTHU by a little over two points with their 90.50% score. NTHU downed Tsinghua by three points, with Peking University scoring an honorable mention with their fourth-place score of 84%.

The field averaged only 65.65% on this task, meaning that there were some teams who had a lot of problems with it. Like SST, the median score skews higher, showing that teams scored well on Reproducibility or were out to sea on it – not much middle ground.

In the final round-up, it was Tsinghua pulling away from the rest of the pack with their aggregate score of 94.85%, which is a very high mark in a competition as, well, competitive as this one. This is Tsinghua’s ninth championship win in a major competition.

NTHU, although handicapped by a misbehaving GPU, managed to take second place with their score of 88.81%. Newbie team Washington shocked cluster competition observers with their bold 86.60% third-place finish. Just barely behind was Nanyang with a score of 86.05%. ETH Zurich and Shanghai Jiao Tong placed with scores of 81.72% and 80.73% respectively.

Once again, we see that winning a cluster competition doesn’t mean you have to be number one in all areas. The key to taking home the gold medal is to score consistently high and score well in all areas. With the exception of LINPACK, Tsinghua managed to post good to great showings in all of the applications and built their lead on their competition-high interview score. You don’t have to be perfect; you just have to be very good. Easier said than done, right?

Our next story will be all about the numbers. We’ll be using our proprietary patented algorithms to see which teams got the most out of their hardware. Stay tuned….

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

What’s New in HPC Research: Volcanoes, Mobile Games, Proteins & More

July 14, 2020

In this bimonthly feature, HPCwire highlights newly published research in the high-performance computing community and related domains. From parallel programming to exascale to quantum computing, the details are here. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and increase the vehicle’s speed and efficiency. These fluid dyn Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

U.S. CTO Michael Kratsios Adds DoD Research & Engineering Title

July 13, 2020

Michael Kratsios, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, has been appointed acting Undersecretary of Defense for research and engineering. He replaces Mike Griffin, who along with his deputy Lis Porter, stepped down last wee Read more…

By John Russell

Supercomputer Research Reveals Star Cluster Born Outside Our Galaxy

July 11, 2020

The Milky Way is our galactic home, containing our solar system and continuing into a giant band of densely packed stars that stretches across clear night skies around the world – but, it turns out, not all of those st Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprised of Intel Xeon processors and Nvidia A100 GPUs, and featuri Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

AWS Solution Channel

INEOS TEAM UK Accelerates Boat Design for America’s Cup Using HPC on AWS

The America’s Cup Dream

The 36th America’s Cup race will be decided in Auckland, New Zealand in 2021. Like all the teams, INEOS TEAM UK will compete in a boat whose design will have followed guidelines set by race organizers to ensure the crew’s sailing skills are fully tested. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Xilinx Announces First Adaptive Computing Challenge

July 9, 2020

A new contest is challenging the computing world. Xilinx has announced the first Xilinx Adaptive Computing Challenge, a competition that will task developers and startups with finding creative workload acceleration solutions. Xilinx is running the Adaptive Computing Challenge in partnership with Hackster.io, a developing community... Read more…

By Staff report

Max Planck Society Begins Installation of Liquid-Cooled Supercomputer from Lenovo

July 9, 2020

Lenovo announced today that it is supplying a new high performance computer to the Max Planck Society, one of Germany's premier research organizations. Comprise Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

President’s Council Targets AI, Quantum, STEM; Recommends Spending Growth

July 9, 2020

Last week the President Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) met (webinar) to review policy recommendations around three sub-committee reports: Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Q&A: HLRS’s Bastian Koller Tackles HPC and Industry in Germany and Europe

July 6, 2020

In this exclusive interview for HPCwire – sadly not face to face – Steve Conway, senior advisor for Hyperion Research, talks with Dr.-Ing Bastian Koller about the state of HPC and its collaboration with Industry in Europe. Koller is a familiar figure in HPC. He is the managing director at High Performance Computing Center Stuttgart (HLRS) and also serves... Read more…

By Steve Conway, Hyperion

OpenPOWER Reboot – New Director, New Silicon Partners, Leveraging Linux Foundation Connections

July 2, 2020

Earlier this week the OpenPOWER Foundation announced the contribution of IBM’s A21 Power processor core design to the open source community. Roughly this time Read more…

By John Russell

Hyperion Forecast – Headwinds in 2020 Won’t Stifle Cloud HPC Adoption or Arm’s Rise

June 30, 2020

The semiannual taking of HPC’s pulse by Hyperion Research – late fall at SC and early summer at ISC – is a much-watched indicator of things come. This yea Read more…

By John Russell

Racism and HPC: a Special Podcast

June 29, 2020

Promoting greater diversity in HPC is a much-discussed goal and ostensibly a long-sought goal in HPC. Yet it seems clear HPC is far from achieving this goal. Re Read more…

Top500 Trends: Movement on Top, but Record Low Turnover

June 25, 2020

The 55th installment of the Top500 list saw strong activity in the leadership segment with four new systems in the top ten and a crowning achievement from the f Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Turns Its Massive Crowdsourced Computer Network Against COVID-19

March 16, 2020

For gamers, fighting against a global crisis is usually pure fantasy – but now, it’s looking more like a reality. As supercomputers around the world spin up Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

[email protected] Rallies a Legion of Computers Against the Coronavirus

March 24, 2020

Last week, we highlighted [email protected], a massive, crowdsourced computer network that has turned its resources against the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe – but [email protected] isn’t the only game in town. The internet is buzzing with crowdsourced computing... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

DoE Expands on Role of COVID-19 Supercomputing Consortium

March 25, 2020

After announcing the launch of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium on Sunday, the Department of Energy yesterday provided more details on its sco Read more…

By John Russell

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Honeywell’s Big Bet on Trapped Ion Quantum Computing

April 7, 2020

Honeywell doesn’t spring to mind when thinking of quantum computing pioneers, but a decade ago the high-tech conglomerate better known for its control systems waded deliberately into the then calmer quantum computing (QC) waters. Fast forward to March when Honeywell announced plans to introduce an ion trap-based quantum computer whose ‘performance’ would... Read more…

By John Russell

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Supercomputer is Already Making its Mark on Science

September 20, 2018

Summit, now the fastest supercomputer in the world, is quickly making its mark in science – five of the six finalists just announced for the prestigious 2018 Read more…

By John Russell

TACC Supercomputers Run Simulations Illuminating COVID-19, DNA Replication

March 19, 2020

As supercomputers around the world spin up to combat the coronavirus, the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) is announcing results that may help to illumina Read more…

By Staff report

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This