A rumor that we heard this week is that NVIDIA has pulled out of in-person Supercomputing 2021 (SC21) participation in St. Louis, Missouri this year. It took a little time, but an NVIDIA spokesperson just got back to us with a statement confirming the rumor.
NVIDIA Statement on SC21 Participation
Today I sent an e-mail to NVIDIA asking whether the rumor I heard was true. Did NVIDIA make the decision this week to skip in-person participation in SC21?
SC continues to be an important show for the industry, and NVIDIA looks forward to participating in SC21 virtually. (Source: NVIDIA spokesperson to STH)
The key here is the “participating in SC21 virtually” line. NVIDIA had a large booth space booked at SC21 and it appears as though they are now pulling out from the planned attendance.
Reading the tea leaves a bit here, it appears as though SC21 is under pressure from COVID, especially as the Delta variant has spread. As a less formal note, at STH we have had a team member that planned to go request to not go in person because of the Delta variant and the fact it seems as though the vaccines are less effective. We granted this request and were looking at replacements when we started to hear this happen.
Going beyond NVIDIA, Intel has already pulled its in-person Innovation event for the end of October as you may have seen on Twitter.
Expected that this would happen. The Intel Innovation event in October just went virtual. (Dell’s Q4 event did too.) SC21 is still in-person, but we are seeing HPC vendors pull their in-person events. @intel @intelnews https://t.co/EMcUWMFn1G
— Patrick J Kennedy (@Patrick1Kennedy) September 8, 2021
SC21 is scheduled for only a few weeks after the Intel Innovation event. We know that Dell has transitioned its Q4 event from in-person to virtual as well. It seems like Q4 2021 events are starting to succumb to COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
On a personal level, this is a bit of a bummer. This is one of my favorite shows and we have been working on the content for SC21 already at STH. For those working on SC21, a major HPC vendor not showing up to the exhibition hall and going virtual is a blow to the event. My sense is that we are going to see NVIDIA’s announcement start to have other organizations re-assess their involvement. There has been an awesome team working hard to bring a great and safe in-person event this year and this kind of news has to be tough. Such are the times.
Quick update here. We received word from Intel a few minutes after this went live. Intel Follows NVIDIA Changing SC21 to Virtual Participation