ThunderChip is the nickname of the team representing the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya in the Student Cluster Competition at ISC17. The team was composed of six undergraduate students coached by four advisors from the Barcelona Supercomputing Center.
The competition aims to encourage the next generation of HPC experts and give them the opportunity to know more about leading fields and companies in HPC. The ThunderChip team was the only team competing with an ARM-based cluster this year and managed to run every application throughout the competition. The Mont-Blanc project supported the team together with the other sponsors, E4 Computer Engineering, ARM, Cavium, and UPC.
Several ISC attendees stopped by the ThunderChip booth and asked about this “apparently standard” cluster. Visitors were quite surprised to discover that you can operate a set of ARM-based servers as a standard HPC cluster. And it was the interest of those visitors and online supporters that led the ThunderChip team to be awarded the Fan Favourite prize at the Student Cluster Competition with a historical record number of votes.
Maybe the students of the UPC team are really the next generation of HPC experts... Maybe ARM-based clusters are really the future of HPC...