Student Cluster Competition



David Macleod (CHPC)

17 August - 23 October 2020 (Team Selection)

Hosted by

the Centre for High Performance Computing (CHPC)
of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (
CSIR) and funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).

The CHPC invites applications from suitably qualified candidates to enter the CHPC Student Cluster Competition. The CHPC Student Cluster Competition gives undergraduate students at South African universities exposure to the High Performance Computing (HPC) Industry. At the CHPC's 2020 National Meeting teams build small HPC clusters on the exhibition floor from hardware provided by the CHPC and our industrial partners. The winning team is entered into the ISC Student Cluster Competition hosted at the 2021 International Supercomputing Conference in Germany.

The competition is only open to South African students enrolled in a computer science related degree who are in 2nd year if enrolled in a 3 year degree, or in 2nd or 3rd year if enrolled in a 4 year degree.

Team Selection is designed to impart critical knowledge for building a cluster, this includes: using Linux systems, the basic software stack of a cluster and cluster design. Team Selection concludes with an assignment which requires each team to build a prototype cluster in the Cloud. The results from the Team Selection project and this application are used to select the teams which will proceed to the CHPC Student Cluster Competition.

The Team Selection round will run from Monday 17 August to Friday 23 October and will be hosted online.

Teams chosen in the selection round proceed to the CHPC Student Cluster Competition where they build small HPC clusters on the exhibition floor at the CHPC National Meeting. The participants are given a selection of applications to optimise and run on their cluster to demonstrate their design’s performance. The winning team is entered into the 2021 ISC Student Cluster Competition.

Each team is assigned a budget and a parts list from which they must design their cluster. The hardware, as specified in the cluster design, is delivered to the exhibition floor of the CHPC National Meeting. The teams are judged on a combination of their benchmark results and the design of their cluster.

There are no fees for successful applicants. The CHPC will cover the costs of accommodation during all events as well as travel and conference fees, where applicable.

For more information email: