FRANKFURT, Germany, July 2, 2018 — On June 27, the International Supercomputing Conference 2018 (ISC18) Student Cluster Competition was held in Frankfurt, Germany. Tsinghua University, which represents China, was named as the grand champion. It was the 10th time that Tsinghua University had been crowned champion in the three leading international student supercomputer competitions—ASC, ISC and SC.
The teams at this year’s ISC included undergraduate student teams from 12 universities spanning the globe. The competition required each team to build a supercomputing system up to 3000W. Within three days, teams had to fulfill the requirements of HPL and HPCG, the international benchmarks for high performance computing; complete tasks related to TensorFlow, the hot open-source deep-learning framework, Nektar++, the open source finite element analysis software, grid computing; and tackle a mysterious application published on the spot.
“We feel very excited to win the championship at the ISC 2018,” said Li Beichen, captain of the Tsinghua University Team, after the competition. “But we are even more excited to have had the chance to compete with and exchange the latest supercomputer knowledge with the teams from all around the world. This experience is invaluable to us.”
Zhai Jidong, the instructor of the Tsinghua University Team, said that unlike the ASC, the ISC competition did not give students much time to prepare. Therefore, it served as a greater test of the team’s on-the-spot performance and knowledge, requiring everyone to play their best. Zhai said that Tsinghua University had good experience in echelon building in training students, ensuring that the players could learn as much as possible about supercomputing and had a solid training foundation. He noted that Inspur, as a reliable partner, had provided high quality equipment and field support for the team.
In the competition, Tsinghua University adopted Inspur NF5280M5 as the mainframe server, with 10 Intel Xeon Scalable processor, 20 Nvidia Tesla V100 accelerators and dual FDR InfiniBand high-speed interconnects, providing reliability to withstand all tests in the finals. The stability, reliability and excellent performance of Inspur servers enabled players to focus on the competition itself. NF5280M5, the flagship of Inspur server series, has accompanied the Chinese student supercomputing teams to compete in the world’s top three supercomputing competitions for years, and has won the reputation of “champion server” with its excellent quality of stability and extraordinary performance.
NF5280M5 adopts a unified basic configuration, supports variable modules and is capable of satisfying over 30 application demands with the ultimate design of spatial stratification technology. The NF5280M5 used by Tsinghua University in the competition is optimized for AI computing acceleration. It supports 4 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, the highest specification for general products in the industry. It also carries the latest generation of Intel Xeon Scalable processor supporting the brand new micro processing framework. Moreover, the AVX512 instruction set provides a 2 times higher floating-point computation capacity compared to previous servers.