Supercomputer Shaheen II Flying Full Speed at KAUST

At King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, high-performance computing is in our DNA. We launched our first supercomputer Shaheen I at our university’s founding in 2009. Six years later, we put Shaheen II, our second system, into service. Since its launch in 2015, Shaheen II has been the computational engine behind several record-breaking simulations and many significant discoveries. It’s the largest and most powerful supercomputer in the Middle East, and its speed and performance have attracted some of the brightest computationally oriented scholars from all over the world. As such, Shaheen II has been integral in assisting KAUST to grow as a destination for science and technology research. A fun fact about Shaheen is that ... [ Read More ]

Can LS-DYNA Scale Any Higher?

Processing and memory bottlenecks can run but they can’t hide. Not indefinitely, at least. And especially not when four technology leaders combine efforts against them. Cray, Livermore Software Technology Corporation (LSTC), the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) and Rolls-Royce are partnering on an ongoing project to explore the future of implicit finite element analyses of large-scale models using LS-DYNA, a multiphysics simulation software package, and Cray supercomputing technology. As the scale of finite element models — and the systems they run on — increase, so do scaling issues and the amount of time it takes to run a model. Understanding that, ultimately, only time and resource constraints limit the size ... [ Read More ]

The Peloton Project: Largest-Ever Sports Simulation Yields Surprising Results

Aerodynamics in a cycling peloton aren’t what you might expect. A peloton is the main field or group of riders in a road bicycle race like the Tour de France. While it can take different shapes, the peloton’s overall purpose is to take advantage of the effects of slipstreaming, or drafting, behind other riders in the group. Air resistance is the biggest mechanical component preventing cyclists from going faster on flat road, and slipstreaming can save up to 50 percent of their energy. Or that was the assumption, at least. The reality is that almost no information exists on aerodynamic resistance for riders in cycling pelotons. Systematic computer simulations or measurements have never been reported before. Professor Bert ... [ Read More ]

Supercomputing Powers Clean Wind Energy

Dr. Lawrence Cheung and the team from GE Global Research are maximizing the power production of clean energy wind farms. As a clean, renewable energy source, wind power is unbeatable. Research studies show that wind, harnessed effectively, could meet all the world’s energy demands. But a gap still exists between potential and reality ... a gap that Lawrence Cheung and GE Global Research are working on closing. “We’re trying to understand what the wind is doing around the turbines, why it might not be getting enough power here or why it’s not efficient there." Dr. Cheung is a lead mechanical engineer at GE Global Research Center’s Aerothermal discipline. There, he studies wind and noise — elements critical to the design of wind ... [ Read More ]

How the Met Office Solved a Weather Forecasting Runtime Scare

When the Met Office chose Cray to supply three large XC40 supercomputers, Cray’s CEO, Peter Ungaro, made a bold statement. He said, "You will be installing the largest operational systems in the world. There will be problems at scale that you won't have anticipated. Partnership with Cray will allow you to access our deep expertise and solve these problems." Recent ambitious upgrades to the Met Office's forecasting codes have meant we have been able to test this claim. Operational weather forecasting is unlike many other areas of science because it is critical that the computer models run to a strict time schedule. A forecast that takes too long to run isn’t available in time for customers to make decisions, and so is worthless. The Met ... [ Read More ]