Taking advantage of HPC can dramatically speed up solutions for electronics simulations. Depending on whether you have ANSYS HPC licenses or ANSYS HPC Pack licenses, a different setting needs to be made in the HPC options, as shown here.
In Electronics Desktop, we click Tools > Options > HPC and Analysis Options:
For ANSYS HPC licenses, we set the option to “Pool”.
For ANSYS HPC Pack licenses, we set the option to “Pack”.
With ANSYS HPC licenses, each license task enables an additional core for solving. At release 19, 4 cores are enabled with standard licensing, so adding 8 ANSYS HPC tasks enables solving on 12 cores. With HPC Pack licenses, the first task enables an additional 8 cores, while a second task enables 8×4 or an additional 32 cores, etc. For more information, see the ANSYS documentation on HPC licensing.
The ANSYS 17.0 release improves the impact of driving design with simulation by a factor of 10. This 10x jump is across physics and delivers real step-change enhancements in how simulation is done or the improvements that can be realized in products.
Unless you were disconnected from the simulation world last week you should be aware of the fact that ANSYS, Inc released their latest version of the entire product suite. We wanted to let the initial announcement get out there and spread the word, then come back and talk a little about the details. This blog post is the start of a what should be a long line of discussions on how you can realize 10x impact from your investment in ANSYS tools.
As you may have noticed, the theme for this release is 10x. A 10x improvement in speed, efficiency, capability, and impact. Watch this short video to get an idea of what we are talking about.
Where is the Meat?
We are already seeing this type of improvement here at PADT and with our customers. There is some great stuff in this release that delivers some real game-changing efficiency and/or capability. That is fine and dandy, but how is this 10x achieved. There are a lot of little changes and enhancements, but they can mostly be summed up with the following four things:
Tighter Integration of Multiphysics
Having the best in breed simulation tools is worth a lot, and the ANSYS suite leads in almost every physics. But real power comes when these products can easily work together. At ANSYS 17.0 almost all of the various tools that ANSYS, Inc. has written or acquired can be used together. Multiphysics simulation allows you to remove assumption and approximations and get a more accurate simulation of your products.
And Multiphysics is about more than doing bi-directional simulation, which ANSYS is very good at. It is about being able to transfer loads, properties, and even geometry between different software tools. It is about being able to look at your full design space across multiple physics and getting more accurate answers in less time. You can take heat loads generated in ANSYS HFSS and use them in ANSYS Mechanical or ANSYS FLUENT. You can take the temperatures from ANSYS FLUENT and use them with ANSYS SiWave. And you can run a full bidirectional fluid-solid model with all the bells and whistles and without the hassles of hooking together other packages.
To top it all off, the system level modeler ANSYS Simplorer has been improved and integrated further, allowing for true system level Multiphysics virtual prototyping of your entire system. One of the changes we are most excited about is full support for Modelica models – allowing you to stay in Simplorer to model your entire system.
Speed is always good, and we have come to expect 10%-30% increases in productivity at almost every release. A new feature here, a new module there. This time the developers went a lot further and across the product lines.
The closer integration of ANSYS SpaceClaim really delivers on a 10x or better speedup for geometry creation and cleanup when compared to other methods. We love SpaceClaim here at PADT and have been using it for some time. Version 17 is not only integrated tighter, it also introduces scripting that allows users to take processes they have automated in older and clunker interfaces into this new more powerful tool.
One of our other favorites is the new interface in ANSYS Fluent, just making things faster and easier. More capability in the ANSYS Customization Toolkit (ACT) also allows users to get 10x or better improvements in productivity. And for those who work with electronics, a host of ECAD geometry import tools are making that whole process an order of magnitude faster.
Industry Specific Workflows
Many of the past releases have been focused on establishing underlying technology, integration, and adding features. This has all paid off and at 17.0 we are starting to see some industry specific workflows that get models done faster and produce more accurate results.
The workflow for semiconductor packaging, the Chip Package System or CPS, is the best example of this. Here is a video showing how power integrity, signal integrity, thermal modeling, and integration across tools:
A similar effort was released in Turbomachinary with improvements to advanced blade row simulation, meshing, and HPC performance.
Overall Capability Enhancements
A large portion of the improvements at 17.0 are made up of relatively small enhancements that add up to so big benefits. The largest development team in simulation has not been sitting around for a year, they have been hard at work adding and improving functionality. We will cover a lot of these in coming posts, but some of our favorites are:
Improvements to distributed solving in ANSYS Mechanical that show good scaling on dozens of cores
Enhancements to ACT allowing for greater automation in ANSYS Mechanical
ACT is now available to automate your CFD processes
Significant improvements in meshing robustness, accuracy and speed (If you are using that other CFD package because of meshing, its time to look at ANSYS Fluent again)
ECAD import in electromagnetic, fluids, and mechanical products.
A new solver in ANSYS Maxwell that solves more than 10x faster for transient runs
ANSYS AIM just keeps getting more functions and easier to use
A pile of SpaceClaim new and improved features that greatly speed up geometry repair and modification
Improved rigid body dynamics in ANSYS Mechanical
More to Come
And a ton more. It may take us all of the time we have before ANSYS 18.0 comes out before we have a chance to go over in The Focus all of the great new stuff. But we will be giving a try in the coming weeks and months. ANSYS, Inc. will be hosting some great webinars as well.
If you see something that interests you or something you would like to see that was not there, shoot us an email at email@example.com or call 480.813.4884.
With PADT and the rest of the world getting ready to pile into dark rooms to watch a saga that we’ve been waiting for 10 years to see, I figured I’d take this opportunity to address a common, yet simple, question that we get:
“How do I turn on HPC to use multiple cores when running an analysis?”
For those that don’t know, ANSYS spends a significant amount of resources into making the various solvers it has utilize multiple CPU processors more efficiently than before. By default, depending on the solver, you are able to use between 1-2 cores without needing HPC licenses.
With the utilization of HPC licenses, users can unlock hyperdrive in ANSYS. If you are equipped with HPC licenses it’s just a matter of where to look for each of the ANSYS products to activate it.
Whether or not you are performing a structural, thermal or explicit simulation the process to activate multiple cores is identical.
Go to Tools > Solve Process Settings
The Solve Process Settings Window will pop up
Click on Advanced to open up the Advanced Settings window
You will see an option for Max number of utilized cores
Simply change the value to your desired core count
You will see below an option to allow for GPU acceleration (if your computer is equipped with the appropriate hardware)
Select the GPU type from the dropdown and choose how many GPUs you want to utilize
Click Ok and close
Distributed Solve in ANSYS Mechanical
One other thing you’ll notice in the Advanced Settings Window is the option to turn “Distributed” On or Off using the checkbox.
In many cases Distributing a solution can be significantly faster than the opposite (Shared Memory Parallel). It requires that MPI be configured properly (PADT can help guide you through those steps). Please see this article by Eric Miller that references GPU usage and Distributed solve in ANSYS Mechanical
Whether launching Fluent through Workbench or standalone you will first see the Fluent Launcher window. It has several options regarding the project.
Under the Processing Options you will see 2 options: Serial and Parallel
Simply select Parallel and you will see 2 new dropdowns
The first dropdown lets you select the number of processes (equal to the number of cores) to use in not only during Fluent’s calculations but also during pre-processing as well
For CFX simulations through Workbench, the option to activate HPC exists in the Solution Manager
Open the CFX Solver Manager
You will see a dropdown for Run Mode
Rather than the default “Serial” option choose from one of the available “Parallel” options.
For example, if running on the same machine select Platform MPI Local Parallel
Once selected in the section below you will see the name of the computer and a column called Partitions
Simply type the desired number of cores under the Partitions column and then either click “Save Settings” or “Start Run”
ANSYS Electronics Desktop/HFSS/Maxwell
Regardless of which electromagnetic solver you are using: HFSS or Maxwell you can access the ability to change the number of cores by going to the HPC and Analysis Options.
Go to Tools > Options > HPC and Analysis Options.
In the window that pops up you will see a summary of the HPC configuration
Click on Edit and you will see a column for Tasks and a column for Cores.
Tasks relate to job distribution utilizing Optimetrics and DSO licenses
To simply increase the number of cores you want to run the simulation on, change the cores column to your desired value
Click OK on all windows
There you have it. That’s how easy it is to turn on Hyperdrive in the flagship ANSYS products to advance your simulations and get to your endpoint faster than before.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss the possibility of upgrading your ship with Hyperdrive (HPC capabilities) please feel free to call us at 1-800-293-PADT or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We just recieved a new tech tip bundle from ANSYS, Inc on Electromechanical Simulation. You may remember when we published the Mechanical and Fluids ANSYS tech tips a few weeks ago. This latest kit continues with information for people making devices and systems that have mechanical and electrical systems. The focus of the kit is the application of ANSYS Maxwell and Simplorer – Maxwell to model low frequency electromagnetics and Simplorer to model systems.
Here is a link to “The Electromechanical Simulation Productivity Kit ” here. The kit includes:
ANSYS Maxwell Automation and Customization Application Brief
ANSYS Maxwell Magnetic Field Formulation Application Brief
Electric Machine Design Methodology Whitepaper
Electromagnetics And Thermal Multiphysics Analysis Webinar
Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery Whitepaper
Robust Electric Machine Design – ANSYS Advantage Article
We also have a collection of videos that are a great introduction to the tool set and how to use it. Check out the overview and the video on the washing machine at a minimum. Even if you have a simple EMAG or do hand calcs, you need to look at Maxwell and Simplorer.
ANSYS PExpert is a fantastic tool for the design, modeling, and analysis of transformers and inductors. Using a combination of classical and finite element analysis (FEA) techniques, ANSYS PExprt determines the core size and shape, air gaps, and winding strategy for a given power converter topology. What we and our customers have found very useful is the ability to then evaluate the magnetic design in ANSYS Maxwell to view such things as flux density in the core and current density distribution in the windings. Powerful stuff.
The first step in implementing ANSYS PExprt with ANSYS Maxwell is installing and configuring them correctly. We created a step-by-step guild for our ANSYS customers here in the Southwest, and thought others would find it useful.