In my talks with engineering managers, flow analysts and IT staff, I often hear variants of this question. Why is more computing power a strategic asset for my engineering department? Why does scalability matter for my simulation jobs that don’t go beyond 32–64 cores in parallel? What’s in it for IT when we are stuck with our current HPC server or cluster for at least two years? Let me try to answer each of these questions.
At a very high-level, a recent survey report from the Council on Competitiveness reports that two-thirds of US companies that use HPC say that “increasing performance of computational models is a matter of competitive survival”. Sixty percent of US industry representatives surveyed claim their most demanding HPC applications could utilize 10-fold increases in computing capability over the next five years.The report also cited software scalability as the most significant limiting factor in reaching 10x improvement.
The demand for scalability is driven not only by existing application needs but also by new application requirements. Fifty-six percent of the same surveyed respondents said that new applications in the development queue will require significant increases in scalability.
Since these new applications typically involve increasingly complex models that reduce parallel processing efficiency, ANSYS has focused on removing the bottlenecks to parallel scalability of complex models with ANSYS 17.0. For example, in Fluent we’ve implemented optimized algorithms for sliding interface intersections and load balancing that result in a 55 percent speed up (with respect to Release 16.0) on 384 cores for a 1.6 million cell internal combustion engine (ICE) simulation. Thanks to multiple improvements made in discretization and linear solvers, a full transient hydroturbine simulation using 512 cores and an internal turbulent flow simulation using 4,096 cores with ANSYS CFX both show time savings of up to 30 percent (again with respect to ANSYS 16.0).
If you would like to know more about HPC advancements made in CFX and Fluent with ANSYS 17.0, please join us on April 12 for our webinar entitled “10x More HPC Capability for CFD” at 9.00AM EST or 4:00PM EST.