Perth’s GPU Hackathon speeding research, tenfold

The second annual GPU Hackathon has landed in Perth, a collaboration between the United States Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), tech designers NVIDIA and the Pawsey Supercomputing Centre.

Five teams from across Australia have come together at the CORE Innovation Hub this week, supported by a team of GPU celebrity mentors from around the globe, for this five-day hack event.

Some experienced programmers from the inaugural Hackathon in 2018 are back, while some are new faces in the game. Teams include Let’s Get Physical from Curtin University, HiPSTAR EXPRESS from the University of Melbourne, Team ASKAP from the CSIRO, Perth IT company Manufacturing Intelligence, and Multi Party Time! from Data61.

The Hackathon is a mentored workshop, with teams collaborating to highlight the importance and benefits of Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) technology.  The GPU experts mentoring the teams draw together experience spanning six countries and organisations including the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, National Supercomputing Centre Singapore, Pawsey Supercomputing Centre, NVIDIA, the University of Melbourne, and Swinburne University of Technology.

Contrary to popular belief, GPUs aren’t just for gaming – they offer an exceptionally high memory bandwidth which accelerate or increase efficiencies of data processing using parallel codes. GPU acceleration paired with thousands of cores is enabling scientists and researchers to achieve performance increases of up to ten times in their computations.

“We’re excited to continue our collaboration with international research facilities”, said Mark Stickells, Executive Director at Pawsey. “Pawsey accelerates scientific discovery through technology, expertise and collaboration; and this is demonstrated by the GPU Hackathon. The Hackathon is a great example of collaboration and engagement with industry, academia and government”.

“Combining advanced computing technologies with world-leading mentors and researchers who want to learn and accelerate their code will deliver exciting results and raise awareness of the power of GPUs and supercomputing”.

This Hackathon is one of many that ORNL is hosting. KISTI in South Korea hosted the first Hackathon for 2019, with more taking place after Perth in Germany, USA, the UK and Switzerland.


Pawsey ED Mark Stickells, Opening the 2019 Perth GPU Hackathon