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Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation


SPEChpc96 High-End Benchmark Published

Manassas, Va. -- The Standard Performance Evaluation Corp.'s High-Performance Group (SPEC/HPG) has published the first set of approved results for SPEChpc96, a benchmark suite that measures the performance of high-end computing systems running industrial-style applications. The performance numbers are available on SPEC's Web site at

SPEChpc96 is targeted at customers, software vendors, and system vendors seeking performance data for high-performance computing systems. Results are reported for two applications included in the initial release: seismic processing (SPECseis96) and computational chemistry (SPECchem96). SPECseis96 represents an industrial application that performs time and depth migrations used to locate gas and oil deposits. It contains approximately 20,000 lines of code written in Fortran and C. SPECchem96 is a quantum chemistry application containing about 110,000 lines of code also written in Fortran and C. All SPEChpc96 results are reviewed by SPEC/HPG for conformance to run rules before publication within SPEC's Web site.

Vendors may report SPEChpc96 results based on any of four predefined workloads for the two application benchmarks: small, medium, large or extra large. The different-sized data sets allow researchers and end users to understand how the scale of the problem impacts system performance. SPEChpc96 application codes can be used with two programming models -- currently message-passing and serial -- that can be run on all of today's high-performance systems.

The SPEChpc96 metric represents how many successive benchmark runs can be completed in a 24-hour period on the system being tested. Results can be compared for serial vs. parallel architectures and among different parallel architectures. This allows users to compare performance based on industrial applications across a range of modern high-performance architectures.

SPEC/HPG is a non-profit organization that maintains and endorses a suite of benchmarks representing real-world, high-performance computing applications. Current SPEC/HPG members include Digital Equipment Corp., Fujitsu America, Hewlett-Packard, International Supercomputing Technology Institute (ISTI, France), Kuck & Associates, Sun Microsystems, Parkbench (represented by the University of Tennessee), the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan, the University of Minnesota, and Purdue University.