Desk-Side Supercomputing Is Poised to Revolutionize Automotive Design and Engineering

Posted by bink on August 9 2006, 6:07 PM. Posted in Windows Automotive.

Microsoft brings high-performance computing to the desktops of the auto industry for entirely new approaches to engineering and design.

High-performance computing (HPC) — once confined to CIA code-breaking and Pentagon war games before making inroads into large mainframe computer rooms at automotive companies — is about to become as readily available to auto designers and engineers as laptop programs. Experts in the field declare the auto industry is entering a period of profound transformation, in which HPC capabilities will be at the desk-side of those who innovate and test consumer vehicles, rather than confined to large, expensive and time-consuming centralized computer-room operations.

With the introduction of Microsoft® Windows® Compute Cluster Server 2003, HPC will help the automotive industry implement brand-new methods to help achieve the following goals:

Predict and prevent defects

Improve collaboration

Automate previously complex and arcane systems

Gather real-time information from vehicles on the road

Demand for HPC is being driven by a combination of increased performance in processors per compute node, low acquisition price per node, and the overall price and performance of compute clusters. These trends are driving new customers to adopt HPC to replace or supplement live, physical experiments with computer-simulated modeling, tests and analysis.

In a white paper released today at the Center for Automotive Research’s Management Briefing Seminars in Traverse City, Mich., experts from Microsoft Corp. and the HPC sector offered predictions regarding the way HPC will be used with the availability of compute clusters — a collection of small servers that can be accessed from desktop or laptop computers. According to the white paper “Desk-Side Supercomputing,” this technology has the potential to slash the total cost of ownership to just a few thousand dollars, enables engineers to get results in a fraction of the time previously required, and helps products get to market more quickly.

“Throughout the auto industry, desk-side computing is empowering people to become ready for entirely new approaches to design, safety and profitability,” said John Fikany, vice president of the U.S. Manufacturing Industries at Microsoft. “We’ve harnessed a tremendous new energy source for creativity, collaboration and cost reduction, and to try to estimate its ultimate potential would be akin to trying to estimate the power of the human mind.” Continue At Source