Intel Follows NVIDIA Changing SC21 to Virtual Participation

Intel Architecture Day 2021 Xe HPC Ponte Vecchio Aurora Blade
Intel Architecture Day 2021 Xe HPC Ponte Vecchio Aurora Blade

Well, it looks like we have confirmation of where this is headed. Supercomputing 2021, or SC21, lost another major exhibitor that is changing participation from in-person to virtual. Intel has confirmed to STH that it is going virtual only.

Intel Changing SC21 to Virtual Participation

After we heard rumors of NVIDIA’s change, it seemed logical that Intel would also change to virtual-only. It had just announced this week that the Intel Innovation event, promoted by its new CEO Pat Gelsinger, at the end of October would transition from in-person in San Francisco to virtual.

We reached out to Intel, and this is the response we got:

Hi Patrick, Intel’s participation at SC’21 will be virtual. (Source: Intel spokesperson to STH)

That seems like a clear indication of the company’s updated plan.

Final Words

Again, this is a bummer for the industry. Supercomputing is a great event and STH was going to have multiple folks attend this year. We were already working on content for SC21. Intel is a huge exhibitor on the floor at SC21. Between NVIDIA and Intel announcing they are going virtual, it seems like only a matter of time before we hear more announcements. Microsoft this week said that it would re-assess its plans to go back to the office in 2021 and they are a major HPC vendor now with the Microsoft Azure HPC offerings.

For those who have put countless hours getting ready for a great and safe SC21, this is truly a bummer. Alas, the COVID-19 impacts and the new Delta variant seem to be taking their toll on the industry. This is likely a wise decision and it aligns with the corporate policies of these organizations. As great as SC21 is, we have to recognize the world is a different place than it was in 2019.


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