Issue: Dec 2005


Storage and Server Solutions to Challenging Automotive Design Questions



by Lenny Case

Ford HPC Facilities in Michigan and Germany Apply SGI Storage and Server Solutions to Challenging Automotive Design Questions

Silicon Graphics announced that Ford Motor Company has purchased technology for use at three of its high performance computing (HPC) center locations to increase productivity in research and automotive design. SGI® InfiniteStorage solutions and SGI Altix servers are shortening data access times and compute runs for a variety of CAE, CFD, and FEA applications used by Ford engineers and scientists to refine vehicle designs in areas such as crashworthiness, combustion efficiency, and passenger comfort and safety.

In May Ford completed the purchase of the following SGI storage and compute technologies:

Research Computer Systems Department, Dearborn, Michigan. The Department, which is part of the Ford Research and Innovation Center, uses SGI InfiniteStorage Shared Filesystem CXFS to give scientists instant concurrent access to files on SGI Altix and SGI Origin compute platforms, eliminating the need for downloading or copying data. Ford is now exploring the possibility of adding its Sun and IBM servers to the CXFS environment. SGI Data Migration Facility (DMF) automatically migrates data from high speed disk to nearline and tape storage.

Numerically Intensive Computing Center (NIC), Dearborn, Michigan. An SGI Altix 3700 server with a terabyte of memory and powered by 256 Intel Itanium 2 processors running the Linux operating environment is the Center's general-purpose computational workhorse for engineers running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) studies for Ford models currently under development. It provides both distributed processing and a large shared-memory SMP environment.

Numerically Intensive Computing Center, Merkenich, Germany. At this facility, an extension of the NIC, Ford engineers in Germany access a 128 processor SGI Altix 3700 server with 512GB of memory to run design studies.

"Ford's selection of SGI HPC and storage technology is a validation of our core strengths," said Brian Samuels, senior vice president, Global Sales, Service & Marketing, SGI. "Our relationship with Ford and other companies gives us the insight to develop practical solutions that contribute to customers' overall ability and power to innovate."



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