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SDSC Receives Two ‘Best’ HPCwire Awards for 2020

17th Annual Awards Presented to Leaders in the Global HPC Community

Published November 16, 2020

SDSC received two HPCwire awards for 2020, including ‘Best Use of HPC (High-Performance Computing) in the Cloud’, and ‘Best Use of HPC in Energy’.

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California San Diego received two HPCwire awards for 2020, including ‘Best Use of HPC (High-Performance Computing) in the Cloud’, and ‘Best Use of HPC in Energy’.

The online publication formally announced the awards during the annual International Conference for High-Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis, otherwise known as SC20, held in a virtual format for the first time due to the coronavirus pandemic. HPCwire recognized SDSC and its collaborators with the following honors for 2020: 

Editors’ Choice Award: Best Use of HPC in the Cloud (Use Case)

Researchers from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory and SDSC leveraged 51,000 cloud GPUs simultaneously available via commercial providers AWS, Azure, and Google to perform the largest GPU ‘cloud burst’ in history to process data from neutrino sensors buried in the ice of the South Pole. See details of the follow-up experiment

Research partners in the first experiment for which the award was given included:

  • Frank Würthwein and Igor Sfiligoi (SDSC)
  • Benedikt Riedel and David Schultz (IceCube Neutrino Observatory, University of Wisconsin – Madison)
  • Open Science Grid, HTCondor, Internet2, and Pacific Research Platform
  • The National Science Foundation

Editors’ Choice Award: Best Use of HPC in Energy

As part of an allocation from the National Science Foundation’s Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) program, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Hanoi University of Science and Technology in Vietnam used SDSC's Comet supercomputer and the Stampede2 system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) to identify four lead-free candidates for a more efficient, less expensive alternative to the silicon that is typically used in solar panels

Collaborators included Huan Tran (Georgia Institute of Technology) and Ngoc Tuoc (Hanoi University of Science and Technology) in addition to SDSC and TACC high-performance computing resources allocated via XSEDE.

Now in its 17th year, the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards are determined through a rigorous nomination and voting process that includes intensive reviews and selections by HPCwire’s editorial team. The awards represent recognition from the HPC community and have become a prominent feature of the publication. These accolades are announced each year to kick off the annual Supercomputing Conference.

“Each year we look forward to connecting with our HPC community while recognizing exceptional industry innovation at the SC conference,” said Tom Tabor, CEO of Tabor Communications and publisher of HPCwire. “While it saddens us that we cannot physically connect with one another this year, we take great pride in bringing the community together through our new digital format for the Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards.”

About HPCwire

HPCwire is a top news and information resource covering the fastest computers in the world and the people who run them. Started in 1986, HPCwire is the news source of choice among science, technology, and business professionals interested in high-performance and data-intensive computing. More information on the awards can be found at or on Twitter through the following hashtag: #HPCwireAwards. 

About SDSC

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) is a leader and pioneer in high-performance and data-intensive computing, providing cyberinfrastructure resources, services, and expertise to the national research community, academia, and industry. Located on the UC San Diego campus, SDSC supports hundreds of multidisciplinary programs spanning a wide variety of domains, from astrophysics and earth sciences to disease research and drug discovery. In late 2020 SDSC will launch its newest National Science Foundation-funded supercomputer, Expanse. At over twice the performance of CometExpanse supports SDSC’s theme of ‘Computing without Boundaries’ with a data-centric architecture, public cloud integration, and state-of-the art GPUs for incorporating experimental facilities and edge computing.