Holy petaflops! SA students are supercomputing champions

South Africa has won an international student supercomputing competition, beating world leaders China and the United States.

June 20, 2013
SA Supercomputer Team

The fastest supercomputer is in China, the Tianhe-2, and runs at about 33.86 petaflops. Many countries say they intend to break the exaflop barrier in the next few decades. For some context, your single-core 2.5GHz PC has a theoretical performance of 10 gigaflops. Tianhe-2 is more than a million times faster than your computer.

Although South Africa’s supercomputer, based at the Centre for High Performance Computing is in the top 500 fastest supercomputers in the world, it is not one of the front-runners in the field.

However, on Wednesday, Team South Africa “made jaws drop” at the international Student Cluster Challenge in Germany when the first-time entrant trumped all the other teams, including two from the United States and two from China, the Centre for High Performance Computing said. The centre co-ordinated the student team.

“In a real-time challenge, teams of six undergraduate and/or high school students build small clusters of their own design on the [International Supercomputing Conference] exhibit floor and race to demonstrate the greatest performance across a series of benchmarks and applications,” the centre said.

The South African team received the highest aggregate scores in the competition.

Supercomputing has become a South African focus, given the country’s status as one of the hosts of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a giant radio telescope that will straddle both Africa and Australia. SKA South Africa project director Bernie Fanaroff has said that the SKA will generate more raw data in one week than human kind has created in its entire existence.

Supercomputers will be required to crunch this data, and the country is trying to position itself as a player in this arena.

Referring to the student competition, the centre said: “The experience will assist South Africa grow a generation of high performance expertise for national economic development and for large projects such as the SKA.”

Article by Sarah Wild

Source: Mail & Guardian

More on supercomputers

Chinese supercomputer now the world’s fastest

AMD may bounce back in server market: analyst

MacBook Air refresh, new Mac Pro unveiled

ARM unveils new processor for smartphones

Tags: Headline, Supercomputer, Tianhe-2

Free Email Newsletter:
Subscribe

Shutterstock is the image partner of MyBroadband – technology images can be found here

Join the conversation

Connect with MyBB

twitterfacebookandroidappleblackberrynewsletterfeed

Poll

Do you think Cell C and Telkom will survive the mobile war?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

More News

South Africa’s mobile, data prices benchmarked

South Africa keyboard

The ITU’s Measuring Information Society report shows which countries in the world are leading the way in terms of ICT development and costs

“Unbelievable deals” and other tech specials

Sale

Save money when purchasing an ultra-HD television, a laptop, or a new camera this weekend

Cape Town’s big free Wi-Fi plans

Wifi

The City of Cape Town says it will expand its Wi-Fi offering so that, by the end of June 2015, free Wi-Fi will be provided at 61 City buildings across the metro.

MTN Steppa Tablet vs Vodacom Smart Tab 3G

Vodacom Smart Tab 3G and MTN Steppa Tablet

MTN has announced plans to laucnh its own R999 tablet – here’s how it compares to Vodacom’s offering

Free MyBroadband Newsletter:
Subscribe
X
bool(true)