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South Africa has successfully defended its championship at the International Student Cluster Competition, winning the overall prize in Leipzig, Germany.

The announcement was made on 25 June 2014 at the International Supercomputing Conference. It is the first time a team has won the competition in consecutive years. The South African team of six was also the youngest, comprising only undergraduate students.

The High Performance Computing (HPC) Advisory Council Student Cluster Challenge is an opportunity to showcase the expertise of the world's brightest computer scientists in a friendly, yet spirited competition.

Team preparations for the competition included working with supervisors and vendor partners to design and build a winning cluster. This is done using commercially available components without exceeding the set power limitations, and learning the predetermined HPC applications. The Dell computing company was the vendor partner behind the South African team, proving all equipment. Dell also sponsored a trip to its headquarters in Austin, Texas in the United States of America and to the Texas Advanced Computing Center. Here the team received a tour of the facilities and benefited from mentoring by technicians that manage the centres. NVIDIA sponsored Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) accelerators for the team and Mellanox sponsored the interconnect.

The South African team members were Eugene de Beste, Nicole Thomas, Warren Jacobus and Saeed Natha of the University of the Western Cape; Pieter Malan of the University of Stellenbosch; and Ellen Nxala of the University of Fort Hare. The team supervisors were David Macleod and Nicolas Thorne of the CHPC and Vernon Nichols of Dell.

Other participants in the competition included the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, South Korea; a combined team of students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bentley University, Northeastern University, United States of America; the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany; University of Hamburg, Germany; University of São Paulo, Brazil; University of Colorado at Boulder, United States of America; University of Science and Technology of China, China; and two additional university teams from China.

The selection for the 2015 team started at the 2014 CHPC winter school in July 2014. 
The CHPC is an initiative of the Department of Science and Technology implemented by the CSIR.