Competition Rules


Equipment configurations are always subject to safety as first consideration. If it cannot be done safely then it should not be done. Consult ISC-HPCAC-SCC supervisor when in doubt.

Power Budget

There is 3000W (or approximately 13A) power limit for running the tests with the equipment. The teams will be provided with 2 power outlets on separate breakers (with the circuit breaker limits of 16A) at the booth. The Type F (Schuko) plugs are available to plug into the circuits. The PDU that will be used for the competition system cannot exceed the 13A limit. One PDU will be provided for the competition cluster to monitor the power usage. Tentatively we plan on using the APC AP8858 PDU for each team to monitor the power usage through the network interface over SNMP during the competition. The other circuit may be used for electronics not related to the operation of the competition system (LCD, laptops, etc.) Any additional power strips, plug converter, and power extension cords, or other equipment needs to be supplied by the teams.

Hands off System Throughout the Competition

No one can touch the equipment physically after the HPCC benchmark run. If there is a need to touch the equipment an official ISC-HPCAC-SCC supervisor needs to be called and will rule on the issue. The only exception is in safety - if an unsafe condition is found, anyone can power down the equipment, and ISC-HPCAC-SCC supervisor must be called immediately afterwards.

Powered On at All Times and No Rebooting

All equipment used for the HPCC benchmark be turned-on at all time (i.e. one cannot run one benchmark on part of the system and then power up the entire system for other benchmarks). System reboots are only necessary for hung or failed hardware. ISC-HPCAC-SCC supervisor must be notified before rebooting any hardware.


  • HPC Challenge ( will be used to score the benchmark portion of the competition. A team may execute HPCC as many times as desired during the setup and benchmarking phase, but the HPCC run submitted for scoring will define the hardware baseline for the rest of the competition.
  • HPL - the competition will feature a “Highest Linpack” award for the team submitting the highest HPL score. Additional, independent HPL runs (outside the submitted HPCC run) may be considered for the “Highest Linpack” award if they are performed with exactly the same hardware powered on as used for HPCC run submitted for scoring. While eligible for the Highest Linpack award, independent HPL runs will NOT count toward the team’s overall score. The HPL run must be submitted on the first day of the competition.
  • Applications –The following applications will be used for the competition

Awards – Three awards will be awarded

  • The “Overall Winner”: achieves the highest aggregate points total for all the benchmarks included in the competition (Linpack and the chosen applications) and the interview with the ISC-HPCAC-SCC board. The HPCC performance is 10% of the score, applications will add 50% and the last 40% from the interview.
  • The “Highest LINPACK”: highest score of the Linpack benchmark. Results of Linpack must be turned in at the end of the first day.
  • The “Fan Favorite”: team that got the most number of unique votes from ISC participants during the competition.

Prior to the competition, teams are encouraged to work closely with vendor partners and domain scientists to understand their hardware and the competition applications.  This is a wonderful learning opportunity for the students. Once the competition starts, student teams will not be allowed to receive assistance from supervisors or vendor partners. The six team members will be on their own to work through cluster and application issues.