Arvind Krishnan

Ecosystem Of  Hardware And Software Tools From NVIDIA – What it Means to Designing Complex Products?

June 27, 2022

Today’s smart, connected products are becoming increasingly complex, and designing and manufacturing them requires many digital solutions. Simulation is one essential solution that engineers can harness to drive design decisions, optimize, and thoroughly validate their designs. It is the kind of tool that facilitates modern product development. There’s one drawback, however: Simulation takes time. It’s …

Ecosystem Of  Hardware And Software Tools From NVIDIA – What it Means to Designing Complex Products? Read More »

Ecosystem Of  Hardware And Software Tools From NVIDIA – What it Means to Designing Complex Products?

Today’s smart, connected products are becoming increasingly complex, and designing and manufacturing them requires many digital solutions. Simulation is one essential solution that engineers can harness to drive design decisions, optimize, and thoroughly validate their designs. It is the kind of tool that facilitates modern product development.

There’s one drawback, however: Simulation takes time. It’s not uncommon for complex simulations to require hours or even days to complete. Engineers are seeking simulation solutions that can run faster. NVIDIA’s graphic processing units (GPUs) offer organizations this much-desired speed to support complex designs.

Accelerating Simulation Using NVIDIA GPU

Simulation plays a critical role in helping engineers develop today’s complex products. It offers many benefits, from reducing the time it takes to verify requirements to cutting costs by lowering the number of physical prototypes required for testing. Simulation can help organizations introduce products to market faster.

A nominal increase in speed, while advantageous, is not the kind of force multiplier that today’s manufacturers need. But when companies can accelerate simulation by five or even 10 times, they will realize significant cuts in product development time.

Recently, simulation solution providers have worked to speed up simulation by adopting technologies that exploit parallel computing through multiple central processing units (CPUs) and faster solver algorithms. Now, they have added a new weapon to their arsenal: GPUs that support faster simulation.

This post will discuss the ecosystem of hardware and software tools from NVIDIA, which can help speed up certain classes of simulation by several orders of magnitude—and, as a result, help manufacturers bring complex products to market faster.

Benefits of Faster Simulation 

Access to high-speed simulation technology opens a lot of doors for companies. To start, faster simulation can help companies verify and validate the performance of complex products on a computer. If this process takes days or weeks to complete, engineers will avoid doing it. When simulation is faster, engineers are more likely to use it as they work on complex products.

Second, faster simulation provides engineers the luxury of testing more design variants early in the design stage. They can use simulation tools to run dozens of what-if scenarios to help them make more informed design decisions. And they will more thoroughly explore the design space because they know they can obtain results quickly.

Faster simulation also helps engineers optimize their designs. They can use simulation to further refine their product designs. Since most optimization occurs on the back end, using simulation to optimize early in the design process will speed up the entire product development process.

Finally, simulation solutions tend to be pricey, and cost-conscious engineering executives want engineers to use simulation tools to justify the expenditure. Faster simulation enables companies to derive better utility from their simulation solution assets, making the most of their investments.

Choosing the Right GPU Is Critical

GPUs have the potential to accelerate simulation in the ways that engineers need. Companies that want to benefit from accelerated simulation, however, must carefully choose which GPU hardware to invest in. Engineering executives often overlook this point. But it is a vital one, as not all GPUs from NVIDIA perform as well when the goal is to accelerate simulation run time. Executives interested in exploiting GPU to speed up simulation solver time must purchase GPUs designed to support hardware acceleration for simulation solutions.

Accelerating simulation, however, requires more than just the right hardware. Executives should also take a long, hard look at which simulation solutions support hardware acceleration on particular GPUs. Simulation solution providers specify the make and model of recommended GPUs that best work with their solutions and provide the speed-up that companies seek. Companies must also select the right solution to work with particular GPUs to realize value from their investments.

Most well-known simulation providers support GPU acceleration for popular physics-based simulation like computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and structural dynamics. NVIDIA also provides a list of simulation solution providers that engineering executives can refer to before purchasing any new hardware or simulation package.

It is important to note that, while the GPU hardware plays a significant role in speeding up simulation, the right software tools from NVIDIA are the critical enablers. NVIDIA provides an ecosystem of software libraries that simulation solution providers can use to exploit GPU acceleration. These tools and libraries are key to supporting different simulation solutions as they implement GPU acceleration capabilities. Solution providers that regularly update their simulation code with the latest NVIDIA software tools and libraries will be able to deliver better GPU performance for their customers than those who do not.

GPU Acceleration: Is It For Everyone?

Many simulation solution providers have demonstrated significant speed-ups when using NVIDIA hardware. Yet it is essential to remember that GPU acceleration is not guaranteed for every simulation problem. It is effective only for a specific set of problems. In those cases, GPU acceleration offers 10 to 30 times the solver speed. In a few select cases, solution providers have demonstrated up to an 80 times improvement in solver speed. Simulation solution providers demonstrated all of these gains at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference 2022. For these classes of problems, engineers benefit when they can use a powerful NVIDIA GPU instead of many CPU cores. 

The success of GPU acceleration has been well documented in use cases including external vehicle fluid dynamics, multi-physics turbulent flow with heat transfer, and noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) problems. It should also be noted that the benefit of GPU acceleration is more pronounced when solving massive problems, as opposed to smaller ones. Adding more CPU cores may be more effective when dealing with smaller problems. It is essential that engineering executives understand that, while GPU acceleration has many benefits, it is not the right solution for every company or every simulation problem. 

Conclusion

Engineers are leveraging a host of different digital tools to help them manage the complexity of today’s products. One of the most beneficial is simulation. Simulation results drive more informed design decisions while saving time and resources across the entire product design phase. 

In order to increase the speed at which simulations can be run, many organizations are looking for new simulation solutions that can be accelerated by GPUs. In many use cases, the right combination of hardware and software, powered by NVIDIA, can accelerate simulation run time—and help engineers keep up with increased complexity and truncated design schedules.

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