Accelerating and Improving Implicit Structural Analysis

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Accelerating and Improving Implicit Structural Analysis

Today's automotive and aerospace manufacturers are increasingly relying on structural analysis applications to improve the reliability, efficiency and performance of the vehicles they manufacture. The increasing scale and performance requirements of modern implicit structural analysis applications present unique challenges.

Unlike CFD and explicit structural applications, most implicit structural simulations do not scale to hundreds of cores. This means that throwing more nodes at a problem often won't help, so efficiency and I/O performance are critical. Hence a system configured for implicit structural analysis will typically have larger memory and often include SSD technology.

The Solution: Breakthrough Supercomputers for Full-Scale Structural Analysis, on Schedule

Cray® XC™ supercomputers are capable of handling some of the world's largest simulations. And Cray works with structural analysis software vendors to optimize simulation performance and better leverage the advanced performance capabilities in the XC series, such as Aries™ interconnects and the DataWarp™ I/O accelerator. As a result, engineers can now conduct higher-fidelity simulations and still stay well within their system development schedule.

One important XC system capability that's significant for structural analysis applications is Cray's DataWarp technology. The DataWarp applications I/O accelerator leverages features of the Cray Linux® environment, solid-state disk (SSD) storage and the Cray high-speed network to enable high-performance I/O at every node in the system without the need for SSDs on every node.

Cray Cluster Supercomputers

Understanding that some manufacturers need nimble, reliable and cost-effective cluster systems, we developed the Cray® CS™ cluster supercomputer series. Cray CS cluster supercomputers are standards-based, highly customizable and designed to handle the broadest range of medium- to large-scale structural analysis workloads.

Proof: Improved I/O Performance for NVH

To test the DataWarp accelerator's capability, a team from MSC Software and Cray conducted a large MSC Nastran noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) simulation of an automotive floor pan on a Cray XC supercomputer. They ran the simulation twice, first using only the spinning disk in a high-performance Lustre® file system for I/O and then using the DataWarp accelerator feature on the XC system. The use of the DataWarp technology significantly reduced I/O time, finishing the simulation in half the elapsed time.

Cray Is Committed to Structural Analysis for Manufacturing

Cray collaborates with structural analysis software developers to ensure their code runs reliably at scale and that it can fully leverage advanced XC series capabilities like Aries interconnects and the DataWarp accelerator. The following list includes some but not all of the structural analysis software that has been validated to perform on the XC series:

  • Abaqus/Standard - 3DS-Simulia
  • ANSYS Mechanical - ANSYS
  • CDH - AMLS
  • CTH - Sandia National Laboratories code
  • MSC Nastran - MSC Software
  • NX Nastran - Siemens PLM Software
  • OptiStruct - Altair
  • SYSNOISE - LMS International

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