The SC07 Cluster Challenge was held in conjunction with the SC07 conference in Reno, Nevada. The event sought to create an exhibition and competition in which teams of undergraduate students would compete in a demonstration of talent, technology and accessibility of entry-level supercomputing. The activity was intended to highlight the gains in hardware performance, ease of use of clusters and the power and availability of simulation software.
To whet peoples’ appetites, the Cluster Challenge Committee challenged that a half rack of a modern cluster would be competitive with the number one system on the TOP500 from only 10 years ago! In fact, the top Linpack score realized in the Challenge was 420 gigaflops, which would have made the TOP500 list only three years ago. This announcement was made during the TOP500 BoF session at SC07 and was met with loud cheers and applause from the attendees.