South African students win supercomputing competition in Germany

Six South African students have won a major supercomputing competition in Germany this week, beating 11 other teams to claim top honours.

The team was made up of four Wits students and two Stellenbosch University students, Wits University said in an emailed statement.

The six students are Craig Bester, Sabeehah Ismail, Andries Bingani, Avi Bank, Ashley Naúde and Leanne Johnson.

“The South African team is the only team that enters a brand new team each year. This is done to give as many students as possible exposure to the international HPC community,” the CHPC said in a statement.

The team, put together by the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC), represented South Africa at the Student Cluster Competition, which takes place at the annual International Supercomputing Conference in Frankfurt, Germany.

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In claiming the win, the South African team beat 11 other teams, including those from China, Germany, the USA and Estonia.

Dell South Africa sponsored the team’s travel, accommodation and equipment, while Mellanox sponsored the team’s “high performance network interconnect” — network tech designed to hit speeds of 100Gbps.

It also marks the third time that a South African team has won the Student Cluster Competition, having won in 2013 and 2014 and finished in second place to China last year.

The teams were required to design a cluster capable of speeding through various benchmarks and applications, but couldn’t exceed the power limit of 3000 watts.



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