Hamilton Sundstrand Uses SGI Technology for Faster Analysis of Aerospace Components and Assemblies
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., May 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To support faster time to market and achieve more reliable aerospace components, Hamilton Sundstrand, a division of United Technologies Corporation, purchased high performance compute and storage technology from Silicon Graphics (OTC: SGIDE).
Hamilton Sundstrand, which manufactures a large variety of components and systems for commercial and military aircraft as well as space and marine systems, has attained impressive speed-ups of computation-intensive structural analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis since the large shared memory SGI(R) Altix(R) system and SGI InfiniteStorage scalable high-performance storage systems were installed as part of the company's migration from Unix(R) OS-based systems to the Linux(R) OS environment.
"In our business it is vital to obtain accurate results as fast as possible," said Art Wanderlingh, Chief of Advanced Structural Analysis & Engineering Software, Hamilton Sundstrand. "With a 5 to 10 times speedup provided by the SGI Altix, we are well on our way to meeting our objective. For example, transient dynamic analyses can run for weeks. In many cases, it now takes days. A Linux-based system and SGI's shared memory architecture gives us the ability to get these faster solution times. SGI architecture provides the ability to run a large number of complex jobs concurrently and to be able to manipulate the data very rapidly so more jobs get done faster and more effectively in a single day. This was the primary motivation to migrate to this Linux-based system. Another critical factor in our selection was the demonstrated collaboration and partnership between the commercial software suppliers and SGI. This assures us that future optimizations will be possible."
Hamilton Sundstrand uses commercial software programs including Abaqus, Ansys, MSC.Dytran, and MSC.Nastran for structural analysis and Fluent for CFD. These programs run concurrently on the Altix. The ability to run many problems simultaneously was paramount, as was shared memory and high throughput. As Wanderlingh explained, a single job can typically generate a 25GB file. At any given time the SGI Altix system might have 20 or more jobs running, of all different sizes and shapes. Wanderlingh estimates that in any given year, thousands of analyses are performed. Hamilton Sundstrand's SGI Altix system is used to perform analyses on environmental control systems, propulsion systems and electronics systems.
An additional two SGI InfiniteStorage TP9300 systems with a total of 8 TB were also purchased by Hamilton Sundstrand to complement the SGI Altix system. According to Wanderlingh, the company chose SGI storage for the speed and the ability to move data as rapidly as possible.
"Again, the essence and the key of our decisions is the need to run multiple CPUs on jobs, being able to manipulate and transfer that data back and forth as rapidly as possible so I can get my answers sooner than later," said Wanderlingh. "When we tried out a different company's storage on this system, I wasn't able to get the critical 5-10X performance improvements. It comes down to engineering productivity. The more productive we are, the faster and more reliable our products will be because we're able to do more analysis to ensure that the products meet the design requirements."
Through Computer Sciences Corporation, an IT infrastructure company contracted by United Technologies Corp., Hamilton Sundstrand installed, in mid-2005, an SGI(R) Altix(R) 3700 system powered by 20 Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors with 160GB RAM and two SGI InfiniteStorage TP9300 systems with a total of 8TB storage. Currently running Red Hat Linux, the company will move to Novell SUSE(R) Linux Server 9 later this year.
"SGI Altix systems deliver high-performance computation perfectly suited for the most highly demanding government and commercial requirements, where safety and high-stress reliability are included in the design from the very beginning of the concept of a component or an entire aircraft," said Himanshu Misra, manager, engineering analysis segment, SGI. "And, as the enterprise grows, so does SGI InfiniteStorage, scaling effortlessly to multi-terabyte sizes."
About Hamilton Sundstrand
Hamilton Sundstrand, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation, is among the largest global suppliers of technologically advanced aerospace and industrial products. Headquartered in Windsor Locks, Conn., Hamilton Sundstrand designs and manufactures aerospace systems for commercial, regional, corporate and military aircraft, and is a major supplier for international space programs. Industrial products serve industries ranging from hydrocarbon, chemical and food processing to construction and mining. Hamilton Sundstrand can be found on the Web at http://www.hamiltonsundstrand.com.
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