Italian Team Uses Software from ANSYS and Supercomputer to Achieve Landmark in Engineering Simulation
SOUTHPOINTE, Pa., Nov 17, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ANSYS, Inc. (NASDAQ: ANSS), a global innovator of simulation software
and technologies designed to optimize product development processes,
today announced the first commercial simulation of more than 1 billion
computational cells using software from ANSYS --
a significant milestone for the Company and the industry. An Italian
research team headed by Ignazio Maria Viola, a member of the engineering
group that worked with the Luna Rossa Challenge team for the 2007 America's
Cup yacht racing competition, conducted the landmark simulation during
August 2008 to investigate the aerodynamics of an America's
Cup yacht. As the use of simulation becomes increasingly
mission-critical in creating "winning"
products -- and at the same time reducing cost
and cycle time -- resolving this scale of
problem becomes imperative in order to address the simulation of full
systems or subsystems.
Computational cells are an essential element in the engineering
simulation process. To perform a simulation, the surface area and/or
volume of the geometry under consideration is broken down into hundreds
of thousands, or millions, of smaller domains known as cells. Equations
are solved to predict fluid flow or stress within each cell to produce
an overall total simulation solution. The higher the cell count, the
more detailed and comprehensive the simulation can be. Just 15 years
ago, simulations of 60,000 cells were considered groundbreaking. More
recently, simulations using hundreds of millions of cells have been
performed by leaders in the industry. Exceeding 1 billion cells for a
simulation has been the latest stretch goal for those pushing the
envelope in engineering simulation.
"Aside from the technological feat of solving
a problem so large, this is another milestone for ANSYS in providing
engineering simulation tools that offer quality results and ease of use,"
said Jim Cashman, president and CEO of ANSYS, Inc. "Quality
is sacrificed anytime an engineer is forced, due to technological
limitations, to solve a part of a system, rather than a whole system.
This achievement is yet another step toward the goal of simulating
complex problems without adversely impacting results."
For the 1 billion cell simulation, engineers from two prominent Italian
engineering organizations worked alongside Dr. Viola to perform the
study. Raffaele Ponzini represented CILEA (the inter-university
consortium for information and communication technologies, named
Consorzio Interuniversitario Lombardo per L'Elaborazione Automatica), an
organization that made available its supercomputer Lagrange,
ranked among the most powerful in the world, to power the simulation.
Giuseppe Passoni represented the Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic of
Milan), an institution internationally renowned for its expertise in
fluid dynamics. In addition, the Regione Lombardia (regional government
in Lombardy, Italy) provided finance for the project.
Simulation of an America's Cup racing yacht
has the potential to include some of the most complex physics effects
possible, with hydrodynamic and aerodynamic fluid flow and stiffness
among the structural physics involved. The 1 billion cell-plus
simulation case focused on the aerodynamic impact of wind on the America's
Cup racing yacht sailing downwind, with a particular emphasis on the
mainsail and an asymmetrical spinnaker. A reconstructed fluid dynamics
geometry was used for the study based on work done using a wind tunnel
at the Politecnico di Milano. The supercomputer used was CILEA's
HP Cluster Platform 3000BL with Linux(R),
a system equipped with 208 HP ProLiant BL460c server blades and Intel(R)
Xeon(R) 3.166 GHz
quad-core central processing units (CPUs). Total peak performance of the
system approached 22 teraflops (22 thousand billion floating point
operations) per second; the system has recently been ranked number 135
on TOP500's list of supercomputers.
The huge analysis was completed in 170 hours, a little more than a week,
achieved by theparallel processing performance of the softwareon the
highly scaled computing resource. This time frame is considered
commercially viable when the value of the complex problem solution is
mission critical. The simulation results were compared to experimental
wind tunnel testing data to benchmark the accuracy, with good agreement
being found -- confirming the capabilities of
fluid dynamics software from ANSYS to operate well at even this most
complex and demanding level of engineering simulation.
"Our research indicates that this is among the world's
first applied engineering simulations using a single mesh of more than 1
billion cells performed with commercial software,"
said Dr. Viola. "Our dedicated and able team
has brought together its expertise in various areas to help us achieve a
truly significant moment in engineering. The possibilities for
engineering simulation using high-performance computing are massive, and
I'm sure we will see new groundbreaking
design developments across industry by those following on from our work."
Such advances in computing power unlock the potential to dramatically
increase engineering simulation capabilities. By partnering with key
hardware vendors, ANSYS delivers on its commitment to engineered
scalability and in providing customers with the best engineering
simulation solutions available.
"ANSYS has played a key role in achieving this milestone at the leading
edge of what is possible today in our industry,"
said Cashman "The ANSYS vision challenges us
to continually drive to improve our products, and to take our technology
solutions to the next level to meet customer needs. Our software has
been specifically engineered to scale from the desktop to the largest
multi-processor supercomputers, and it's
extremely fulfilling to see our efforts validated by this major
milestone. Without question, the demand for larger, more-detailed
simulations will continue to grow, and today's
achievement shows that we are well-positioned to meet this need."
For downloadable images, visit http://www.ansys.com/newsimages.
About CILEA Interuniversity Consortium
CILEA is a consortium of 10 universities in Lombardy, established in
1974. The ItalianMinistry of Universities and Research also belongs to
the Consortium. CILEA is among the most advanced supercomputing centers
in Europe. According to its statute, CILEA has many different purposes.
Among them, it promotes the use of the most advanced computing systems
in scientific and technological research, both public and private. It
provides high-performance computing systems for national research. It
promotes technology transfer in the field of information and
communication technology. It creates, maintains and manages information
systems for the national education and research system. All CILEA's
services are offered to universities, public agencies and private
About ANSYS, Inc.
ANSYS, Inc., founded in 1970, develops and globally markets engineering
simulation software and technologies widely used by engineers and
designers across a broad spectrum of industries. The Company focuses on
the development of open and flexible solutions that enable users to
analyze designs directly on the desktop, providing a common platform for
fast, efficient and cost-conscious product development, from design
concept to final-stage testing and validation. The Company and its
global network of channel partners provide sales, support and training
for customers. Headquartered in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., with
more than 60 strategic sales locations throughout the world, ANSYS, Inc.
and its subsidiaries employ approximately 1,700 people and distribute
ANSYS products through a network of channel partners in over 40
countries. Visit www.ansys.com
for more information.
ANSYS, ANSYS Workbench, Ansoft, AUTODYN, CFX, FLUENT, HFSS and any
and all ANSYS, Inc. brand, product, service and feature names, logos and
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SOURCE: ANSYS, Inc.
Media: Kelly Wall, 724-514-3076
Investors: Annette Arribas, 724-514-1782