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IDC Announces HPC Innovation Excellence Awards

HPC User ForumToday IDC announced the seventh round of recipients of the HPC Innovation Excellence Awards at the ISC’14. The awards recognize noteworthy achievements by users of HPC technologies in order to showcase return on investment (ROI) and scientific success stories involving high performance computing.

IDC research has shown that HPC can accelerate innovation cycles greatly and in many cases can generate ROI. The award program aims to collect a large set of success stories across many research disciplines, industries, and application areas,” said Chirag Dekate, Research Manager, High Performance Computing at IDC. “The winners achieved clear success in applying HPC to greatly improve business ROI, scientific advancement, and/or engineering successes. Many of the achievements also directly benefit society.”

Winners of the first six rounds of awards, announced over the last three years, included 34 organizations from the U.S., three from the People’s Republic of China and Italy, four from UK, two from India, and one each from Australia, Canada, Sweden, South Korea, Switzerland, Germany, France, and Spain.

New Winners:

  • University of Wisconsin-Madison (U.S.). University of Wisconsin Researchers utilized HPC resources in combination with multiple advanced forms of protein structure prediction algorithms and deep sequence data mining to construct a highly plausible capsid model for Rhinovirus-C (~600,000 atoms). The simulation model helps researchers in explaining why the existing pharmaceuticals don’t work on this virus. The modeling frameworks developed by the researchers provide angstrom-level predictions for new antivirals and a platform for vaccine development. Lead: Ann C. Palmenberg.
  • Argonne National Laboratory, Caterpillar, Convergent Science (U.S.). Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory conducted one of the largest internal combustion engine simulations. Predictive internal combustion engine simulations necessitate very fine spatial and temporal resolutions, high-fidelity and robust two-phase flow, spray, turbulence, combustion, and emission models. The research has allowed Caterpillar Inc. to shrink their development timescales and thus result in significant cost savings. Caterpillar engineers predict that these HPC developments will reduce the number of multi-cylinder test programs by at least a factor of two, which will result in a cost saving of $500,000-$750,000 per year. Lead: Sibendu Som.
  • CINECA (Italy). Engineers from THESAN srl, an Italian SME active in the renewable energy sector, teamed up with the Italian supercomputing center CINECA to develop simulation-driven engineering of hydroelectric turbines. The research was conducted in the framework of the PRACE SHAPE (SME HPC Adoption Programme in Europe) Initiative. The engineers and researchers built an HPC-based workflow to optimize the design of a new class of hydroelectric turbines. Using CFD Thesan could generate cost savings through reducing or eliminating the production of physical prototypes, better understanding the flaws of earlier design setups, and critically shortening the time to market. Lead: Raffaele Ponzini, Roberto Vadori, Giovanni Erbacci, Claudio Arlandini.
  • Pipistrel d.o.o. (Slovenia). Engineers and scientists from Pipistrel utilized HPC and technical computing resources to design and develop the Taurus G4 aircraft. The aircraft was conceived, designed, and built in a mere 5 months, relying heavily on CAD and rapid prototyping techniques, but especially on the use of CFD and other computer aerodynamic tools for evaluation of flight performance and handling before committing to the building of the prototype. The aircraft introduced a unique twin fuselage configuration, presenting significant challenges in designing the wings, high lift systems, and the overall configuration. HPC-based CFD was used already in the conceptual design stage to optimize the shape of the engine nacelle in order to avoid premature flow separation. CFD was used in further stages of the design to optimize the high lift slotted flap geometry, and especially to determine the lift and stability behavior of the complete aircraft configuration in ground effect. Lead: Prof. Dr. Gregor Veble.
  • Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, EPCC at the University of Edinburgh, York Plasma Institute at the University of York, and Lund University. Researchers from CCFE, EPCC and the Universities of York and Lund have made substantial recent optimizations for the well-known plasma turbulence code, GS2. This included a total rewrite of the routines that calculate the response matrices required by the code’s implicit algorithm, which has significantly accelerated GS2’s initialization, typically by a factor of more than 10. Taken together, these optimizations have vastly reduced wall time, as illustrated by the impressive gain in speed by a factor of 20 that was achieved for a benchmark calculation running on 8,192 cores. The optimized code achieves scaling efficiencies close to 50% at 4,096 cores and 30% at 8,192 cores for a typical calculation, compared to efficiencies of 4% and 2% respectively prior to these optimizations. Leads: David Dickinson, Adrian Jackson, Colin M Roach and Joachim Hein.
  • Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, ORNL (U.S.). Researchers from Westinghouse Electric Company and the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of LWRs (CASL), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Innovation Hub, performed core physics simulations of the AP1000® PWR startup core using CASL’s Virtual Environment for Reactor Application (VERA). These calculations, performed on the Oak Ridge Leadership Computing Facility (OLCF) “Titan” Cray XK7 system, produced 3D high-fidelity power distributions representing the conditions expected to occur during the AP1000 start-up. The set of results obtained provide insights that improve understanding of core conditions, helping to ensure safe startup of the AP1000 PWR first core. Lead: Fausto Franceschini (Westinghouse).
  • Rolls-Royce, Procter and Gamble, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, Cray Inc., Livermore Software Technology Corporation (U.S.). Researchers from NCSA, Rolls Royce, Proctor and Gamble, Cray Inc, and Livermore Software Technology Corporation were able to scale the commercial explicit finite element code, LS-DYNA, to 15,000 cores on Blue Waters. The research has potential to transform several industries including aerospace and automotive engine design, and consumer product development and design. Researchers cited that the increased scalability can result in significant cost savings. Lead: Todd Simons, Seid Koric.

IDC welcomes award entries from anywhere in the world. Entries may be submitted at any time by completing an application form.

HPC Innovation Excellence Award sponsors include Adaptive Computing, Altair, AMD, Ansys, Cray, Avetec/DICE, the Boeing Company, the Council on Competitiveness, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Ford Motor Company, Hewlett Packard, HPCwire, insideHPC, Intel, Microsoft, National Science Foundation, NCSA, Platform Computing, Scientific Computing, and SGI.

The next round of HPC Innovation Excellence Award winners will be announced at SC14 in November 2014.

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