implement this feature on the upcoming Aurora Exascale system, which is designed to run simulations of the universe at extremely high-performance levels. ‘Cosmology models are among the

largest and most complex models in computational research. Our optimisations provide the additional performance researchers need to run applications like HACC and make more accurate predictions about the distribution of billions of galaxies, as well as the underlying distribution of mass and hot gasses in the universe,’ Jeffers adds.

Machine matters Back on planet Earth, visualisation is replacing the Excel spreadsheets and the PLC simulations engineers traditionally use to interpret data within the worlds of industrial automation, automotive and aerospace. Chris Harduwar, vice president of business development at Maplesoft, explains why this is the case: ‘An Excel spreadsheet is an example of where things can go wrong; getting the units wrong can result in a catastrophic issue. Also, traditional PLC simulations for automation don’t include any visualisation in the traditional sense. ‘So, you have to pay close attention to what’s happening and pay close attention in real time. These challenges cause engineers to spend an excess amount of time on looking at data, interpreting results and double checking their work,’ Harduwar adds. This is where visualisation comes in, helping engineers understand and extract the most important insights from their models and simulations. Brett Chouinard, chief techical officer for Altair’s modelling, visualisation and math-based solutions and strategy, explains: ‘CAE, CFD and design engineers need solutions that can respond dynamically to ramping up/down of simulation and modelling needs, as well as flexible access to simulation-driven design tools both to do their work and to share results.’ Chouinard adds: ‘For CAE and CFD engineers, performance can be impeded by resource limitations, such as hardware constraints and license availability. Design

“An Excel spreadsheet is an example of where things can go wrong; getting the units wrong can result in a catastrophic issue”

36 Scientific Computing World Summer 2021

 MapleSim is an advanced system-level modelling and simulation tool that applies modern techniques to dramatically reduce model development time, providing greater insight into system behaviour and producing fast, high-fidelity simulations.

engineers face complex system design challenges exacerbated by geography and working from home, such as prohibitive data downloads, access to appropriate software and limitations on the information that can be shared between different tools.’ This is where an easy-to-use tool and one that’s hosted in the cloud can help, providing engineers with a single source of truth as new data comes in. There are many such solutions available. Altair Access, for example, is an interface for submitting, monitoring and sharing jobs on remote clusters and other resources, including the cloud, with visualisation and collaboration tools. Altair One also ‘makes it easy for engineers to access software, HPC and data, and includes applications such as the Altair Drive, which enables engineers to securely upload, access, store and manage data, making it possible to access data from anywhere, on any device, without big downloads,’ Chouinard explains. On the HPC side, Altair and the

Argonne National Laboratory have also collaborated to enhance Altair’s workload management technology, helping Argonne’s Aurora system to run workloads at exascale. ‘As a longtime leader in the simulation space, Altair is well versed in the types of challenges engineers face when it comes to deriving meaning from HPC output,’ Chouinard adds. MapleSim from Maplesoft is also an

all-in-one simulation platform where simulations and models ‘come to life’, according to Harduwar, using virtual commissioning where the model essentially becomes a digital twin, connected to the PLC control code. When virtual commissioning a machine, engineers use a model developed in

 Advanced post-processing is an essential decision-making tool for engineers to get a deeper understanding of large arrays of data.

MapleSim and connect that to the PLC control code and run it against the model. The results appear in real time with CAD import options to create a rich visualisation. Recently, for example, Maplesoft worked with an injection moulding company that used a model based on an existing machine, which was in the field and inaccessible to their engineers. So, the engineers modelled that machine in-house and reproduced the results they were seeing in the field. They updated the control code, used visualisation components to understand how that model was behaving, and this behaviour matched the real machine. Harduwar explains: ‘They were able

to update the speed of that machine and update the performance all on the computer. They loaded it up on the real machine and it produced the exact same results.’ It’s not just scientists and engineers that

rely on advanced visualisation tools either, such functionality is also important from a consumer point of view. Intel, for example, recently worked with Bentley Motors. Jeffered explains: ‘The overwhelming majority of Bentley automobiles are purchased online, sight unseen. So some of the most expensive cars in the world need the best 3D

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