Last week we covered major chipmakers shifting plans from attending Supercomputing 2021, or SC21, in-person. Instead, these companies are now planning for virtual-only participation. After official confirmations from NVIDIA and Intel, Arm, and Dell we have another to report. AMD has told STH that it also plans to participate in SC21 as a virtual-only conference.
AMD Joins Industry Shift to SC21 Virtual-only
We received text message confirmation a few days ago that this was coming, but here is the official statement from an AMD spokesperson:
“AMD looks forward to participating virtually at SC’21.” (Source: AMD spokesperson e-mail confirmation to STH)
AMD is a major force in the HPC industry at the moment with design wins for two Exascale supercomputers for the DoE including the upcoming HPE-Cray El Capitan 2 Exaflop supercomputer and even the recently announced new DoE Argonne Polaris supercomputer.
At this point, all of the major CPU and GPU vendors (Arm behind some of the more custom solutions), and a good portion of the interconnect vendors, have all shifted focus to making SC21 a virtual-only event. Dell is a major systems vendor and has too. Our general sense is that this probably means that we will be getting official word from the SC21 organizers over the next few weeks that the in-person event will be canceled. This generally takes some time to announce since there are major implications for the organization and its sponsors. At this point, most exhibitors will have already paid for their booth space and likely some of the ancillary services that event centers charge. There is often a difference if a vendor pulls out unilaterally versus the entire event being canceled.
Again, given where we are in the cycle, it is probably wise to at least take pause and thank those who have been working on putting together SC21 for many quarters at this point. This is one of those bits of news that is important, but it is also one that we are not excited to share with the STH community. We have been working on contingency plans for the past few weeks to bring you coverage like we would if there was an in-person show as the COVID-19 Delta variant has picked up momentum, so stay tuned to STH for more.