In the first part of this two-part post about high-performance computing, I already addressed three commonly-held myths associated with HPC. Now I’ll address three myths that are related to particular concerns about HPC adoption.
Myth #4: “Without internal IT support, HPC cluster adoption is undoable” Continue reading
Looking back at my notes from conversations with many engineers during our recent ANSYS Convergence Conferences, I must admit that I still came across some myths and misconceptions about high-performance computing (HPC) for engineering simulation. Let me share six really striking ones with you:
- HPC is available on supercomputers only
- HPC is only useful for CFD simulations
- I don’t need HPC – my job is running fast enough
- Without internal IT support, HPC cluster adoption is undoable
- Parallel scalability is all about the same, right?
- HPC software and hardware are relative expensive
As each week begins, I realize what a privilege it is to work with leading HPC technology providers like Intel, NVIDIA, Dell, HP, IBM and many others. Apart from the pleasant inter-social aspects of our weekly meetings, these collaborations enable us to provide simulation solutions optimized on the latest computing platforms. I strongly believe this is necessary because the computing landscape changes so quickly. Our customers want to take advantage of the latest HPC technologies and expand the scope of what they can accomplish with simulation.
One example of a strong partnership is NVIDIA. As a result of this partnership, ANSYS and NVIDIA have developed GPU-accelerated solvers and algorithms across our full range of multiphysics solutions. We were one of the first commercial engineering simulation providers to introduce structural mechanics support of GPU computing, and we released the first major commercial GPU-accelerated fluid dynamics solver of its kind with ANSYS 15.0. Continue reading
In my July blog, I wondered if our customers considered moving forward with robust design practices. Since that time, I’ve found an increasing number of customers embracing and, more importantly, benefiting from these techniques. I’d like to give you a few examples that I think will appeal to you.
First of all, let’s look at ANSYS customer Brose, a tier-one supplier specializing in developing and manufacturing mechatronic systems and electric drives for automobile bodies and interiors. Every year Brose supplies millions of window regulators to many automobile manufacturers. As you can read in this article, Brose engineers adopted robust design practices using ANSYS Mechanical and Dynardo’s optiSLang software so they could ensure the robustness of their window mechanisms for a wide variety of car models and assembly conditions. Continue reading
We just published a new ANSYS Advantage magazine issue that deals with product integrity and robust design practices, and my work brought to mind a story I want to share with you. I had a first-generation LCD display in the rear-view mirror of my last car. This device was very handy to access GPS as the display showed in the mirror and didn’t require any alterations to my built-in audio system nor an unattractive GPS mount on my windshield. However, on this particular day, the display seemed to fail when I was in the middle of nowhere trying to find my way.
It is likely this malfunction occurred for a number of reasons. The combination of my heat-absorbing black car, driving in the south of Italy where the temperatures can reach up to 60° C, and the time it takes to cool the interior after switching on my air-conditioning, might not have been the parameters the equipment designer tested prior to production. Although I liked the functionality of the GPS, this product didn’t work in the real environment in which it needed to perform. Continue reading
What works for manufacturing companies also applies to engineering simulation software providers. In a competitive climate, we all must aim continually for innovation, listen to the voice of our customers, anticipate swiftly changing needs, identify buyer expectations and make appropriate changes. I strongly believe that the parametric licensing and capabilities newly introduced with ANSYS 14.5 are truly innovative, standing out from the rest. They could become a paradigm shift in CAE, as they will make extensive design exploration and robust design a reality.
Given the market forces for increased product performance and integrity, engineering simulation undoubtedly can help manufacturers to evaluate more design ideas and reach the “best” design, one that works across a range of operating conditions. For that matter, many engineering simulation software providers today do offer design exploration and optimization tools. But despite the need, the adoption of these tools is relatively small. Our product manager for ANSYS DesignXplorer, Simon Pereira, regularly investigates the obstacles to further adoption, and, in each of his reports, the biggest hurdles appear to be unacceptable turnaround times, shortcomings in usability and lack of available licenses. Continue reading
Last Friday, I gave a keynote talk at HP-CAST18 in Hamburg, Germany, about the trends in engineering that are driving HPC innovation. It was my first time joining HP’s worldwide HPC User Group Conference, and I was particularly impressed by HP’s detailed roadmap for new platforms, storage systems and low-energy computing, as well as their progress towards exascale computing.
I felt honored to be invited to speak in front of HP executives, HP technical staff, industry analysts, HP customers and partners. It’s a sign that HP seriously takes into account input from ISVs (independent software vendors, like ANSYS). Basically, my presentation identified some major challenges and trends in (computer-aided) engineering that are driving the demand for more HPC software innovations. Continue reading
With engineering managers increasingly sensitive to the cost of product design, it is no longer enough to justify engineering software based on gut feelings about its value. Managers want to see cold, hard return-on-investment numbers before they buy into any technology. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software is no exception.
Simulation Softens the Financial Blow of Product Development
Using CFD software, the Dyson team investigated 200 different design iterations, which was 10 times the number that would have been possible if physical prototyping had been the primary design tool.
Any engineer who has used CFD software will likely have a strong sense of its worth as a problem-solving tool. This engineering simulation software can provide solutions to complex fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, chemical reaction and related physical phenomena that would be difficult or even impossible to tackle in any other way. Even when engineers have deeply ingrained product knowledge, they find, more and more, that fluid flow problems have become too complex to solve without CFD software. Yet, capturing CFD’s worth in formal return-on-investment terms can be difficult. The reason why is that one side of the cost–benefit balance sheet is much more obvious than the other.