HPC Roundup

Ten Years of AWS and a Status Check for HPC Clouds

HPC User Forum April 11-13, 2016 Tucson, AZ

HPC User Forum – September 6-8, 2016 Austin, TX

Running Converge in the Cloud with Rescale March 15, 2016

International Multi-dimensional Engine Modeling Conference (Cray)  April 11, 2016

SuperComputing 2016 Salt Lake City, UT November 14-17, 2016

Off-Shore Renewable Energy CFD HPC Conference April 7-8, 2016 Lancaster, UK

HPC-enabling OpenFOAM for CFD, April 6-8, 2016 in Casalecchio di Reno, Italy (Cineca)


EnSight HPC is the version created to handle massive datasets too big for EnSight Standard and other CFD post-processors.


Raimund Schweiger Retirement from CEI

EnSight users in Germany, Central, Northern and Eastern Europe are probably familiar with Raimund Schweiger, Managing Director of CEI GmbH. For 6 years, Raimund has been overseeing sales, marketing and technical support for CEI Software’s within these European markets. At the end of 2015, Raimund will retire from CEI with almost 40 years in the CAE industry.

When Raimund first started his career, back in 1976, the term “Computer-Aided Engineering” didn’t even exist yet. He says, “When we first started, CAE was really this niche thing. It wasn’t a part of the design process, or really any part of the process, for most engineers. When something went wrong, that’s when they would say, you know those guys down the street are doing something different, maybe they can help us fix it, and that’s really where I started.”

For Raimund, watching the CAE industry take off has been a very interesting experience. He’s watched technological achievements help the industry gain momentum and become a bigger piece of the design process from the beginning, rather than just a way to fix problems. “It has been a long time coming to this point,” Raimund says. “Now CAE is important, which is a step forward for the general understanding of issues in the CAE industry.”

As for the future of CAE, Raimund hopes that it continues to evolve and become more mainstream. “The more analysis that is done before we’re too deep into a design process, the better,” he said. “As we grow the abilities for CAE software and analysis, we can better communicate that information, not just to other engineers, but to other stakeholders and the general public as well. I see that as an important part of the future of this industry, increasing the general knowledge of what our technology can do.”

Raimund plans on using his retirement to relax and spend more time with his wife and dog, but he’s not ready to leave CAE entirely. “I’ll probably pick up some projects here and there. Things that interest me, on my own schedule.

“Thank you to all of our customers and the CEI team,” says Raimund. “I wish them all the very best.”

Pro Graphics Cards

What do you get when you upgrade to the modern advanced professional graphics cards?  Aren’t all graphics cards the same?

Not at all.  Professional graphics cards offer features that we can leverage in EnSight, higher capacities, and professional graphics driver support.

Features of EnSight that are only supported on recent card architectures:

1) Volume rendering, including embedded transparent surfaces
2) Hardware accelerated object picking
3) Dynamic object highlighting
4) Per-pixel correct transparency sorting
5) Greatly improved transparency performance
6) Part coloring enhancements: Improved limit fringes, alpha palettes, etc
7) Independently rendered annotation plane
8) Customizable anti-aliasing

Features of workstation class cards:

1) Stereo display support
2) Faster, higher quality line drawing
3) Improved memory management and drivers
4) Multi-display support (e.g. a PowerWall or  Cave in a single card).

More general benefits to EnSight, due to improved
graphics architectures and increased memory sizes:

1) Larger geometries can be manipulated in real-time
2) Rendering performance (often 2x improvement for each generation of graphics card)

Those are probably the biggest items.  Not necessarily in the order that all people would agree about.  The #1 issue is improved productivity as the user has:

a) Entirely new ways of looking at their data via Volume Rendering, Alpha Palettes, etc.
b) Improved direct interaction, resulting in fewer missteps
c) Improved interaction rates, allowing them to ask and formulate answers to more questions in the same amount
of time

What do you mean by “modern”?

When we talk about “modern” cards here we generally refer to cards that have at least DirectX 10 levels of functionality.  Even if you are not on Windows and using DirectX 10,  that level of graphics card is what we mean by modern.


Who makes “modern” graphics cards?

Look for nVidia Quadro lines and the AMD/ATI graphics cards.

Support page for AMD/ATI graphics cards certification is here.

Support page for nVidia graphics cards certification is here.


SGI buys OpenCFD – the trademark owner for OpenFOAM: BusinessWeek Article

This seems to be an interesting topic in the CFD market these days.  Hardware companies want to know if SGI is going to play fair and continue the open nature of OpenFOAM.  Other CFD companies seem to be curious if SGI will likewise continue to be reliable partners for their codes.  And everybody in CFD seems to be curious what this will mean as the market goes forward.  What do you think?  Is this a good development for OpenFOAM?  for CFD?  for SGI?


SGI OpenFOAM: Private Company Information – BusinessWeek.