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Altair Achieves Breakthrough Time Savings in Crash Simulations

Running on Intel(R) Xeon(R) Processor 5500 Series Based Cluster New Technology Will Radically Change Development Processes

Altair Engineering, Inc., a leading global provider of simulation technology and engineering services announced implementation of a new analysis process that drastically reduces the simulation time needed for virtual crash testing. To achieve these results, Altair worked closely with Intel Corporation using the latest Intel software tools and compilers to optimize communications schemes and extract the best performance using an Intel cluster based on Intel® microarchitecture, codenamed Nehalem.

Virtual crash tests are one of the most time consuming tasks in automotive development processes. Combining a new solution approach for simulating highly dynamic events, the well known scalability, quality and repeatability of Altair’s crash solver RADIOSS, and Intel’s expertise in high-performance computing allowed a team of research engineers to run virtual crash tests in minutes instead of hours. For the first time ever, a frontal crash simulation of a vehicle model with more than one million elements was performed in less than five minutes.

“I am delighted to see this quantum leap in simulation performance,” said Djamal Midoun, Unibody Safety Manager Ford Motor Company. “In partnership with Altair, Ford has established a development process which consistently delivers vehicles with a superior safety performance. RADIOSS is one of the cornerstones of this process and these dramatic performance improvements will offer us a broad set of new opportunities. In the future, this will not only help us evaluate design variants faster than ever before, but also enable us to routinely perform design sensitivity and robustness analysis, which were incredibly time consuming before.”

The challenge for Intel software engineers was to maintain scalability with a high number of cores. They succeeded with a hybrid parallelism model implementation (MPI + OpenMP) of Altair’s new algorithm. This result has been achieved using an Intel cluster based on Intel Xeon processor 5560 series. Intel used the latest Intel software tools and compilers to optimize communication schemes and extract the best performance from the processor based cluster.

“Working together, Altair and Intel were able to unleash the Intel® Xeon® processor 5500 series based clusters and deliver substantial performance improvement for crash simulations,” said Paresh Pattani, director, HPC & Workstation Applications, Intel Software and Services Group. “This improvement will have long-term benefits for our industry and the cooperation between Intel and Altair demonstrates our ability to solve customers’ challenges with state-of-the art computing technology”

“Accelerating simulation times while increasing the quality and robustness of crash computation are challenges we are attaching importance to” said Laurent Di Valentin, expert in Numerical Simulation, PSA Peugeot Citroen. “The decrease of CPU needs would enable us to imagine ways of modeling improvements with RADIOSS (finer meshes, integration of better material laws with rupture, optimizations and scatterings) expected to ensure the best possible and reliable development process in our car projects.”

“This breakthrough delivers the missing link for CAE driven design in vehicle safety,” said Dr. Uwe Schramm, Altair’s chief technical officer for HyperWorks. “With the time compressing technology of HyperWorks we had already reduced the manual tasks of model generation and assembly as well as report generation by more than a factor of 10. This combined with our new hybrid solver approach; we have eliminated the turn-around time bottleneck inherent to virtual crash testing. Now multi-disciplinary optimization for crash, durability and NVH will be able to provide valuable input to the design process.”


RADIOSS is a next-generation finite element solver for linear and non-linear simulations. It can be used to simulate structures, fluids, fluid-structure interaction, sheet metal stamping and mechanical systems. This robust, multidisciplinary solution allows manufacturers to maximize durability, noise and vibration performance, crashworthiness, safety, and manufacturability of designs to bring innovative products to market faster.

About HyperWorks

Built on a foundation of design optimization, performance data management and process automation, HyperWorks is an enterprise simulation solution for rapid design exploration and decision-making. As the most comprehensive, open-architecture CAE solution in the industry, HyperWorks includes best-in-class modeling, analysis, visualization and data management solutions for linear and non-linear, structural optimization, fluid-structure interaction and multi-body dynamics applications. For more information, please visit

About Altair

Altair Engineering, Inc. empowers client innovation and decision-making through technology that optimizes the analysis, management and visualization of business and engineering information. Privately held, with more than 1,300 employees, Altair has offices throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia/Pacific. With a 20-year-plus track record for product design, advanced engineering software, grid computing technologies and enterprise analytics solutions, Altair consistently delivers a competitive advantage to customers in a broad range of industries. To learn more, please visit

About Cluster Used
— 128 NODES, each of it defined as:
— Supermicro X8DTN system
— 2 Cpus (8cores): Intel Xeon processor 5560 series 2.8GHz
— Memory: 18 GB 1066 DDR3

— Interconnect: Infiniband (Mellanox MT25418 ConnectX cards)

Benchmarking for the virtual crash test was performed at Intel’s CRT Datacenter using their state-of-the-art HPC cluster. This cluster consists of 430 Intel Xeon processor x5570 servers that are connected via Gigabit Ethernet and QDR InfiniBand. The virtual crash test was run on 128 nodes, achieving excellent scalability.

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Thu. July 18th, 2024

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