Improving Your Vehicle Experience with Advanced Simulation


Aerodynamics are key attributes in new cars. Airflow over a vehicle is critical to gas mileage, can produce annoying wind “buffeting “and affects the vehicle’s quality and success in the market in many other ways. As with all other design features, auto companies want to use HPC simulations to predict aerodynamic performance. However, most automobile designs are not particularly aerodynamic, so airflow is very complicated and difficult to simulate accurately. Cray and ANSYS recently published an applications brief on an aeroacoustics (wind noise) simulation on an Alfa Romeo Giulietta automobile. It’s a very interesting example for many reasons, including: It demonstrated the technical partnership between Cray and ANSYS. It was a ... [ Read More ]

MSC Nastran NVH benchmarks show 1.6X speedup


The MSC Nastran application is almost 50 year old, but it continues to receive enhancements, and we at Cray continue to see significant performance improvements when MSC Nastran is run on the latest Cray® CS400™ cluster supercomputer systems. MSC Nastran is one of the most widely used structural analysis applications in the Automotive and Aerospace industries. Notably, it is widely used for large, linear dynamic analysis such as vehicle vibration simulation.  MSC Software recently posted the performance results for the latest version — MSC Nastran 2014. The results proved to be interesting for several reasons, but we were especially pleased to see that our results for the noise vibration and harshness (NVH) simulations were the best MSC ... [ Read More ]

Recent Crash Test Results Highlight the Need for Enhanced Simulation

IIHS small crash

In July the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) published crash test results for the “small overlap front crash test,” in which only one of the 12 cars tested earned a “good” rating.  These results, combined with the results of earlier tests, led Consumer Reports to publish a headline reading, “Most Small Cars Bomb New Small-Overlap Crash Test.” At the same time, Nissan presented an excellent paper on the computer simulation challenges of the small overlap test. This is an example of the increasingly stringent requirements for automotive safety and why the use of high performance computing (HPC) for crash safety simulation is critical in the automotive design process. There are dozens of crash load cases evaluated in the ... [ Read More ]

Supercomputers: The Solution to Physical Test Limitations in Automotive Manufacturing

During the past few decades the world of science has changed, moving from physical experimentation alone to an environment in which simulations are of primary importance. In the automotive industry, research and design is now so advanced that it’s following in the footsteps of science and moving away from physical testing. Supercomputing has allowed automobile manufacturers to transition to a simulation-driven world. The innovative use of new materials in vehicle design is becoming the norm for automotive manufacturers — honeycomb structures and increased aluminum use being an example. With more advanced design elements coming into play, numerous manufacturing challenges are emerging; including the need for a greater number of ... [ Read More ]

Record LS-DYNA “car2car” Performance Paves the Way for Future Crash/Safety Simulation

Altair Webcast

A Cray supercomputer has set a speed record in a crash/safety simulation used by the automotive and aerospace industries. Leveraging the scalability of the Aries interconnect in the Cray® XC30™ supercomputer, engineers ran the “car2car” model, a 2.4-million element crash/safety simulation, in under 1,000 seconds. The LS-DYNA results are posted on, the site that was created to track the performance of HPC systems on actual engineering applications codes. In addition to the job turnaround record (931 seconds), the result set a record for the level of parallelism (3,000 cores). As the automotive and aerospace industries continue to run larger and more complex simulations, the performance and scalability of the applications ... [ Read More ]