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MEI Online: Computer Applications: Latest News: November 24th 2003


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:: New Hatch Supercomputer System to Help Clients

Hatch's Non-Ferrous technology group in Mississauga has added six high-end workstations, a cluster, that will perform Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) calculations five times faster than the $35-million Cray supercomputer introduced to the world in 1992.

A cluster is at the top end of the communication-requirements scale, requiring low latency interconnects and high bandwidth. The new Hatch cluster is interconnected with a dedicated high-speed network to allow it to function as a single supercomputer.

Hatch clients are demanding more complex physics and larger model sizes in modelling their core processes. For example, Hatch is currently running an 8.5-million-cell problem for a client project in South Africa.

Hatch can produce a higher level of engineering design with the supercomputer cluster by including more details, and using more rigorous mathematical models for improved fidelity of the CFD analyses. For the client, that means both better designs and faster turnaround times.

At Hatch, CFD is used in design evaluation and optimization, scale-up analyses, performance evaluations, and "what-if" scenario analyses.

Before Hatch installed the cluster, a time-dependent calculation for a metallurgical process could take three weeks to reach a "steady-state" solution on a single, dual-processor workstation. On Hatch's new cluster, with the speed of about 50 GigaFlops, the same calculation can be accomplished in four days.


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