The Future of Simulation via HPC

The What-If studies that our software performs go a long way toward influencing future product development. With tons of features and their resulting design complexity, short development cycles, and consumer/regulatory demand for safety, innovative products call for computing tools — and most people think of CAD and CAE. The silent partner in this mix is the hardware and its ability to quickly and accurately perform the calculations.

Over the past few decades, engineering simulation providers have satisfied demanding design requirements by expanding and deepening their multiphysics capabilities. Now we can imagine what if … and we can conduct studies to test what if … But the truth is that any given simulation tool paired with the best hardware platform is no longer a recipe to fast, reliable solutions. The simulation tool itself must be designed to reap the hardware’s full potential, such as highly scalable and distributed HPC environments. Continue reading

Advances in ANSYS Mechanical 15.0 – High Performance Computing

ANSYS 15.0 contains a number of amazing achievements in the area of high performance computing (HPC) for the Mechanical APDL product. The performance is up to 5 times faster than previous releases, especially at higher core counts, by means of improved domain decomposition algorithms.

In addition, new parallel functionality was added in this release. One of the most important new features was the subspace eigensolver for vibration analyses, which supports distributed memory parallel and can be several times faster than the widely used block Lanczos eigensolver. Continue reading

Batch Computations and Remote Visualization in ANSYS 15.0

Are you happy with the way you access HPC resources? Some time back, I spoke with one of our customers about his daily experiences with his company’s HPC environment. He told me that the procedure to access the resources and dealing with the sessions is cumbersome and difficult to understand, especially for new employees.

batch computations

I replied that ANSYS 15.0 comes with a solution for launching and managing batch jobs and remote visualization sessions based on a Web front end. That resonated well with my counterpart, such that the conversation evolved into a more detailed discussion on the individual features of the solution.

After the conversation, I was sharing my experience with some colleagues. We agreed that being able to quickly demonstrate the above mentioned features is essential for being able to communicate the advantages. However, as you can imagine, deploying such a tool is not done with the installation of the software, but requires some configuration, such as hooking up the submission tool with the compute resources. Even if the configuration step is designed to be comfortably done through the Web GUI itself, it will take some time until customers will be able use the tool and collect their own experiences. Continue reading

More Engineers Adopting Robust Design Practices

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.

MLS approximation robust designFirst 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

The ROI of Engineering Simulation

It is always my pleasure to meet with our customers and learn about how they deploy engineering simulation software in their organizations. At ANSYS, we are fortunate to work in a field that holds so many exciting uses for engineering simulation. The industry has come a long way since those days when management was skeptical about the value of performing simulations. But are organizations getting a good return on investment, or ROI?

Today, when I ask customers what they see as their current challenges, many of them tell me that they are so reliant on simulations that they are now being asked to do even more with little or no increase in the human resources made available. And as organizations rely even more on engineering simulations, it is not surprising that simulation teams are being asked to show greater return on investment. What I find surprising is that even when organizations are asked to reduce overall expenses, we see an increase in budget for deploying engineering simulation! Continue reading

From Supercomputers to Handhelds

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics conference on Computational Science and Engineering (CSE13). There I listened to a number of presentations given by mathematicians and engineers, who talked about running software programs on some of the biggest supercomputers in the world. When ANSYS was first founded in 1970, finite element analysis (FEA) simulations were typically performed on large “mainframes” that filled entire rooms — these were the supercomputers of that era.

More recently, the distributed solver in the ANSYS Mechanical product family was developed to allow engineers to run FEA simulations on large clusters, which is the hardware of choice for today’s supercomputers. In fact, in 2008 several mechanical simulations were performed on one of the TOP100 supercomputers in the world using the distributed ANSYS capability with calculations reaching over 1 Teraflop (over 1 trillion calculations per second). However, the point I want to raise today is that while ANSYS Mechanical software supports such speed and complexity required for the most numerically challenging and hardware-resource-intensive simulations, the power of a supercomputer is now available in the palm of your hand. Continue reading

Four Out of Top Six F1 Racing Teams Powered by ANSYS

image of Red Bull Race Team

Team Red Bull Racing poses for the end of season team photo during previews for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Carlos Pace on November 22, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Vladimir Rys)

If you’re like me — a passionate fan of Formula 1 — you were probably on the edge of your seat during the last race of the season in Brazil, during which either the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel or the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso could have won the championship. After a season of 20 F1 races, the fact that the contest was so close is a measure of the margins these teams work with. Anyone who has been to a race and witnessed these race cars firsthand knows exactly how close to the edge the cars and drivers are.

F1 Vehicles Most Technologically Advanced

F1 vehicles are the most technologically advanced in the world; they need to adapt each year to changing regulations. This often results in a team redesigning the car’s roughly 4,000 components to meet the demands of performance and safety. But not only that, engineering teams are continually improving performance between races — often having only two weeks between races to make a performance impact. With lap times for the leading cars differing by fractions of a second, improperly executing these changes from one circuit to the next can be the difference between being on the podium and not scoring any points. Continue reading

CFD Drives Marussia Formula 1

image of Marussia Formula 1I read my coworker Gilles’ blog last week week, the one where he discussed Formula One, wind tunnels and CFD. It brought to mind an article I’d read a few months back geared around how software engineers power Marussia. I thought I’d use this information to jump into Gilles’ conversation from a different angle.

While there are typically hundreds of people on a racing team who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the car quicker, using a computer and the right software is an essential part of what it takes to win a race, much less a season of races. Continue reading