Morrisville, N.C. — Computational Engineering International (CEI) has signed a three-year, $1.8-million contract to research, develop and implement advanced visualization tools for the Department of Energy’s Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative (ASCI). To conduct its research, ASCI has loaned CEI an eight-processor SGI Onyx 2 computer with two IR3 graphics pipes, one of the world’s most powerful machines for graphics computing.
ASCI was formed to develop the high-resolution, three-dimensional physics modeling needed to evaluate the aging nuclear stockpile and accurately predict how time will affect different components. Contract work will center around CEI’s EnSight Gold, a high-performance, multi-platform visualization and data analysis tool already used in the ASCI program by Los Alamos, Sandia and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories.
Four fundamental areas of research will be conducted within the EnSight Gold framework:
∑ Extending scalability to efficiently extract results from datasets of a terabyte or larger and rendering the resulting complex scenes.
∑ Increasing functionality to meet the evolving requirements of ASCI scientists.
∑ Investigating alternative modes of user interaction with visual data, including support for partially and fully immersive virtual reality (VR) environments.
∑ Exploring user-interface enhancements specific to the weapons science community.
“We are exploring problems that are several orders of magnitude beyond what is being done today and what will be needed in the near future,” says Kent Misegades, CEI president. “The contract recognizes EnSight Gold as a legitimate framework for the most advanced visualization work being done in the world.”
The contract does not involve intellectual property rights, allowing CEI’s work to be incorporated into future products for more mainstream applications in automotive, aerospace, chemical, general engineering, scientific research and other areas. “The bulk of our work should be applicable to a broad range of customers,” says Misegades.
CEI has corporate headquarters in Morrisville, N.C., and authorized distributors around the world. In addition to EnSight and related products, CEI provides consulting services to engineers and scientists from organizations that need to visualize computational results for research, product design or product refinement.