Designing a new class of racing boat with HPC

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HPC Sail BoatEmirates Team New Zealand needed a high-performance computing (HPC) environment to design a new class of multihull boats for the 2013 America’s Cup competition. The HPC horsepower was essential to design and build two massive 72-foot catamarans for racing in the Louis Vuitton Cup challenger selection series and the America’s Cup finals.

This is the third article in a series on the role of HPC in manufacturing. Download the complete insideHPC Guide to HPC in Manufacturing.

The team partnered with Dell to deploy an HPC cluster running the Platform HPC stack Enterprise Dell Edition featuring Intel-powered Dell PowerEdge servers connected to Dell EqualLogic storage through Dell Networking switches. Together, they also developed a social media strategy to promote the Emirates Team New Zealand brand globally.

“ We can now complete an entire boat design test in three days using the Dell HPC cluster,” says Nick Holroyd, technical director of the team. “We’ve gone from 30 to 40 design candidates being tested physically for our 2007 Cup campaign to testing 300-400 designs for this edition of the America’s Cup.”

Benefits of the Dell/Emirates partnership include:

  • Yacht design process revolutionized with HPC solution
  • Design prototyping increases 10-fold through high-performance environment
  • Social media strategy connects audiences and promotes global sailing brand
  • Creative design limits eliminated due to virtualized environment

Dell supplied a wide range of technology, including servers, workstations, laptops, networking and storage, as well as deployment and support services .

Concludes Holroyd, “Dell Precision workstations and Dell Latitude notebooks provide the file I/O performance we need to create complete models end-to-end without having to resort to creating smaller components that when bolted together may in reality not actually match up. It’s critical to our ability to deliver highly accurate designs for the build, on time, that we have the performance to support the CAD environment.”

Next week we review the Dell PowerEdge VRTX Appliance. If you prefer you can download the entire insideHPC Guide to HPC in Manufacturing courtesy of Dell and Intel.