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Huawei HPC Secures an Excellent Score for USTC at ISC-SCC 2016

This year's Student Cluster Competition (ISC-SCC 2016) has just ended its series of challenges at the International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany. The team from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), sponsored by Huawei, won first place for High-Performance Computing Challenge (HPCC) and Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF), and second place for Graph500 performance optimization.

Jointly hosted by the HPC Advisory Council (HPCAC) and ISC, ISC-SCC is a high-performance cluster design and testing competition. Twelve student teams from prestigious universities worldwide competed this year. The USTC team was made up of six 2nd and 3rd year Computer and Gifted Young students. The team competed with Huawei's HPC cluster and received guided training on device debugging and cluster building from Huawei technical experts. Competitor teams had to design and build a supercomputing cluster with under 3 KW power consumption, and then run two benchmark suites and five applications from different domains. The two benchmark suites are HPCC and High-Performance LINPACK. The five applications were Graph500, Splotch, WRF, and two mystery applications.

The USTC team had chosen Huawei FusionServer X6800 as the basis for its competition cluster. A high-density server positioned for data centers, its innovative build and system architecture guarantee efficient and reliable operating while maximizing computing and energy efficiency. With compute, application acceleration, and storage nodes, the X6800 meets any configuration requirement. Thanks to double the computing density of a traditional rack server and 10% less energy consumed, the X6800 lowers customer CAPEX and TCO.

HPCC involves nine system performance tests that evaluate system computing, access, communication, and I/O capabilities. The team's X6800-based cluster beat out all other competing systems during testing with its excellent computing and network communication powered by Intel® Xeon® E5 v4 series processors, 100 Gbit/s InfiniBand EDR networks.

WRF is a next-generation numerical weather prediction system for forecasting and research. Its code volume and software complexity cause many I/O operations during computation. The USTC team's solution resulted in excellent WRF performance, despite frequent I/O read/write operations, and first place in this competition challenge.

Graph500 is a recent benchmark of supercomputer analysis of data-intensive applications, with stringent requirements on overall memory bandwidth and latency. X6800 came in second in this stage of the competition, demonstrating its powerful capabilities for intensive processing irregular data in big data sets.

Throughout the competition, the team fully leveraged Huawei's power saving technology Dynamic energy management technology (DEMT) to ensure heat dissipation and energy consumption management, enabling the X6800 to reliably remain under the consumption threshold.

Continuous Innovation for Better High-Performance Computing

This year, the team has continued its history of impressive scores, reflecting both USTC's supercomputing strength and Huawei's HPC and server performance and quality. Upholding the same idea of cultivating world-class talents as USTC, Huawei joins universities in cultivating engineering talent, spending over 10% of its total annual revenue on R&D for continuous innovation spanning chips, architecture, design, and upper-level applications. This sustained innovation lets Huawei offer competitive server products and high-performance computing solutions. Huawei showed enthusiasm for proactive participation in competitions and activities in the international HPC domain for university students. This is how Huawei shows gratitude to the alma maters of its talented employees.

Huawei server and HPC products and solutions have grown rapidly in recent years. Large-scale HPC cluster deployment has been successful for multiple leading vehicle manufacturers and academic research centers in Europe. Gartner 2016 Q1 statistics report that Huawei maintained its fourth-place ranking in shipment volume and No. 1 shipment growth in the global server market. In addition, Huawei advanced to the Challengers quadrant in May's release of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Servers, in recognition of its server position and strength.

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