Formula One Team Makes Super Investment

By Nicole Hemsoth

March 7, 2008

Because of the highly technical and extremely competitive nature of Formula One racing, high performance computing is now commonly used by most F1 programs worldwide. Aerodynamic engineering is a critical component of Formula One design, and CFD simulation on 3D virtual models greatly speeds up research and development by complementing the more expensive and time consuming wind tunnel testing. Besides accelerating aerodynamic design, CFD can also be used to optimize brake cooling, gas tank filling and other engine component cooling activities.

On Tuesday, Renault’s Formula One team announced it had purchased a 38 teraflop Appro Xtreme-X2 supercomputer to upgrade its compute infrastructure. The new Opteron-equipped Xtreme-X2, which is scheduled to be installed at the company’s Formula One CFD Centre in the UK at the end of June 2008, would represent the most powerful supercomputing cluster utilized by a Formula One team. In December of 2006, BMW Sauber F1 team announced it had deployed a 12 teraflop Intel Xeon-based system for its Formula One program; and an 8 teraflop supercomputer was installed by the AT&T Williams Formula One team in July 2007. If more powerful HPC systems are out there in the racing world, no one’s talking about them.

The new Appro machine will be used by the ING-sponsored Renault F1 Team to run full-car simulations for their 2008 F1 R28 and 2009 R29 racing cars. We asked Bob Bell, technical director of the Renault F1 Team, to help fill us in on how the group intends to use the new supercomputer to gain an edge on the competition.

HPCwire: How long has the Renault F1 Team been using high performance computing to help design Formula One cars?

Bell: We have been using CFD since 1995, but only since 2004 have we seriously invested in an HPC facility dedicated to CFD. The high performance computing systems will form part of a dedicated resource that will be used for the aero design development of our F1 cars. In addition they will be available as part of a CFD Centre of Excellence for use within the Renault Nissan alliance.

HPCwire: What will the new Appro system enable you to do that you couldn’t accomplish with your older HPC systems? How important are these systems becoming in Formula One racing?

Bell: The new system will increase by a factor of five our CFD computing capacity, allowing us to model the car’s aerodynamics in much more detail and with results delivered in greatly reduced time frames. These systems are now vital for the successful design of a modern F1 car as they start to rival a wind tunnel (which is the traditional development tool) for productivity.

The transition to our CFD solution using Appro systems will allow us to rival a wind tunnel in terms of development productivity but in a much more cost effective way. Traditionally 90 percent of our aero development has been conducted using empirical physical testing in the wind tunnel. The principal advantage of CFD is that it provides an in depth understanding of vehicle aerodynamics whereas a WT simply provides lined performance measurements. The clusters will primarily boost our CFD capacity from a current 10 percent contribution to our aero development to at least 50 percent. A sizeable step forward to us.

HPCwire: At 38 teraflops, the new system represents the most powerful machine for a Formula One team. What kind of edge do you think this will provide for coming up with winning Formula One designs?

Bell: It will be a significant advantage in terms of the productivity and accuracy of our aerodynamic development program. There is a direct correlation between the number of CFD simulations we can run in any given time period and the on-track performance development of the car.

HPCwire: Will the new system be used by other groups at Renault, outside the Formula One team?

Bell: It is hoped that the new facility will become a center of excellence within the Renault-Nissan alliance for CFD technology. This will directly benefit road car aerodynamic development.

HPCwire: What application software will you be using to drive the CFD simulations?

Bell: We will primarily be using commercial CFD software from CD-Adapco and specialized software solutions developed as part of our partnership with Boeing.

HPCwire: When can we expect to see the first Formula One cars on the track that were designed with the help of the new Appro system?
 
Bell: It will affect the end of season development with the R28 and strongly influence the entire development of the R29, where completely new aerodynamic regulations will benefit the increase in our computational capacity.

HPCwire: Using the following criteria: initial system cost, operational cost, computing power, ease of deployment and use, system vendor support, upgradeability, reliability, and fault-tolerance in mind — how would you rank them in importance when selecting an HPC system for your Formula One application?

Bell: Computing power – 1; reliability, fault-tolerance – 2; initial system cost – 3; operational cost – 4; upgradeability – 5; system vendor support – 6; and ease of deployment and use – 7.

In summary, it is performance, reliability, cost and operability.

One of the reasons to commit to a CFD facility like this was that it represents a higher rate of return on capital investment for an aerodynamic development tool. Although cost effectiveness was part of our decision-making process, the technical configuration of the cluster was paramount. Appro not only offered us a cost-effective solution, but in addition they improved on our required technical specification through better reliability, greater fault tolerance and redundancy, as well as more flexibility with regards to system scalability.

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

China’s Tencent Server Design Will Use AMD Rome

November 13, 2019

Tencent, the Chinese cloud giant, said it would use AMD’s newest Epyc processor in its internally-designed server. The design win adds further momentum to AMD’s bid to erode rival Intel Corp.’s dominance of the glo Read more…

By George Leopold

NCSA Industry Conference Recap – Part 1

November 13, 2019

Industry Program Director Brendan McGinty welcomed guests to the annual National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) Industry Conference, October 8-10, on the University of Illinois campus in Urbana (UIUC). On Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake, STEM-Trek

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing components with Intel Xeon, AMD Epyc, IBM Power, and Arm server ch Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Intel AI Summit: New ‘Keem Bay’ Edge VPU, AI Product Roadmap

November 12, 2019

At its AI Summit today in San Francisco, Intel touted a raft of AI training and inference hardware for deployments ranging from cloud to edge and designed to support organizations at various points of their AI journeys. Read more…

By Doug Black

SIA Recognizes Robert Dennard with 2019 Noyce Award

November 12, 2019

If you don’t know what Dennard Scaling is, the chances are strong you don’t labor in electronics. Robert Dennard, longtime IBM researcher, inventor of the DRAM and the fellow for whom Dennard Scaling was named, is th Read more…

By John Russell

AWS Solution Channel

Making High Performance Computing Affordable and Accessible for Small and Medium Businesses with HPC on AWS

High performance computing (HPC) brings a powerful set of tools to a broad range of industries, helping to drive innovation and boost revenue in finance, genomics, oil and gas extraction, and other fields. Read more…

IBM Accelerated Insights

Leveraging Exaflops Performance to Remediate Nuclear Waste

November 12, 2019

Nuclear waste storage sites are a subject of intense controversy and debate; nobody wants the radioactive remnants in their backyard. Now, a collaboration between Berkeley Lab, Pacific Northwest National University (PNNL Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Cray, Fujitsu Both Bringing Fujitsu A64FX-based Supercomputers to Market in 2020

November 12, 2019

The number of top-tier HPC systems makers has shrunk due to a steady march of M&A activity, but there is increased diversity and choice of processing compon Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

IBM Adds Support for Ion Trap Quantum Technology to Qiskit

November 11, 2019

After years of percolating in the shadow of quantum computing research based on superconducting semiconductors – think IBM, Rigetti, Google, and D-Wave (quant Read more…

By John Russell

Tackling HPC’s Memory and I/O Bottlenecks with On-Node, Non-Volatile RAM

November 8, 2019

On-node, non-volatile memory (NVRAM) is a game-changing technology that can remove many I/O and memory bottlenecks and provide a key enabler for exascale. Th Read more…

By Jan Rowell

MLPerf Releases First Inference Benchmark Results; Nvidia Touts its Showing

November 6, 2019

MLPerf.org, the young AI-benchmarking consortium, today issued the first round of results for its inference test suite. Among organizations with submissions wer Read more…

By John Russell

Azure Cloud First with AMD Epyc Rome Processors

November 6, 2019

At Ignite 2019 this week, Microsoft's Azure cloud team and AMD announced an expansion of their partnership that began in 2017 when Azure debuted Epyc-backed ins Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Launches Credit Card-Sized 21 TOPS Jetson System for Edge Devices

November 6, 2019

Nvidia has launched a new addition to its Jetson product line: a credit card-sized (70x45mm) form factor delivering up to 21 trillion operations/second (TOPS) o Read more…

By Doug Black

In Memoriam: Steve Tuecke, Globus Co-founder

November 4, 2019

HPCwire is deeply saddened to report that Steve Tuecke, longtime scientist at Argonne National Lab and University of Chicago, has passed away at age 52. Tuecke Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Spending Spree: Hyperscalers Bought $57B of IT in 2018, $10B+ by Google – But Is Cloud on Horizon?

October 31, 2019

Hyperscalers are the masters of the IT universe, gravitational centers of increasing pull in the emerging age of data-driven compute and AI.  In the high-stake Read more…

By Doug Black

Supercomputer-Powered AI Tackles a Key Fusion Energy Challenge

August 7, 2019

Fusion energy is the Holy Grail of the energy world: low-radioactivity, low-waste, zero-carbon, high-output nuclear power that can run on hydrogen or lithium. T Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Using AI to Solve One of the Most Prevailing Problems in CFD

October 17, 2019

How can artificial intelligence (AI) and high-performance computing (HPC) solve mesh generation, one of the most commonly referenced problems in computational engineering? A new study has set out to answer this question and create an industry-first AI-mesh application... Read more…

By James Sharpe

Cray Wins NNSA-Livermore ‘El Capitan’ Exascale Contract

August 13, 2019

Cray has won the bid to build the first exascale supercomputer for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and Lawrence Livermore National Laborator Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

DARPA Looks to Propel Parallelism

September 4, 2019

As Moore’s law runs out of steam, new programming approaches are being pursued with the goal of greater hardware performance with less coding. The Defense Advanced Projects Research Agency is launching a new programming effort aimed at leveraging the benefits of massive distributed parallelism with less sweat. Read more…

By George Leopold

AMD Launches Epyc Rome, First 7nm CPU

August 8, 2019

From a gala event at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco yesterday (Aug. 7), AMD launched its second-generation Epyc Rome x86 chips, based on its 7nm proce Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

D-Wave’s Path to 5000 Qubits; Google’s Quantum Supremacy Claim

September 24, 2019

On the heels of IBM’s quantum news last week come two more quantum items. D-Wave Systems today announced the name of its forthcoming 5000-qubit system, Advantage (yes the name choice isn’t serendipity), at its user conference being held this week in Newport, RI. Read more…

By John Russell

Ayar Labs to Demo Photonics Chiplet in FPGA Package at Hot Chips

August 19, 2019

Silicon startup Ayar Labs continues to gain momentum with its DARPA-backed optical chiplet technology that puts advanced electronics and optics on the same chip Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Crystal Ball Gazing: IBM’s Vision for the Future of Computing

October 14, 2019

Dario Gil, IBM’s relatively new director of research, painted a intriguing portrait of the future of computing along with a rough idea of how IBM thinks we’ Read more…

By John Russell

Leading Solution Providers

ISC 2019 Virtual Booth Video Tour

CRAY
CRAY
DDN
DDN
DELL EMC
DELL EMC
GOOGLE
GOOGLE
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
ONE STOP SYSTEMS
PANASAS
PANASAS
VERNE GLOBAL
VERNE GLOBAL

Intel Confirms Retreat on Omni-Path

August 1, 2019

Intel Corp.’s plans to make a big splash in the network fabric market for linking HPC and other workloads has apparently belly-flopped. The chipmaker confirmed to us the outlines of an earlier report by the website CRN that it has jettisoned plans for a second-generation version of its Omni-Path interconnect... Read more…

By Staff report

Kubernetes, Containers and HPC

September 19, 2019

Software containers and Kubernetes are important tools for building, deploying, running and managing modern enterprise applications at scale and delivering enterprise software faster and more reliably to the end user — while using resources more efficiently and reducing costs. Read more…

By Daniel Gruber, Burak Yenier and Wolfgang Gentzsch, UberCloud

Dell Ramps Up HPC Testing of AMD Rome Processors

October 21, 2019

Dell Technologies is wading deeper into the AMD-based systems market with a growing evaluation program for the latest Epyc (Rome) microprocessors from AMD. In a Read more…

By John Russell

Rise of NIH’s Biowulf Mirrors the Rise of Computational Biology

July 29, 2019

The story of NIH’s supercomputer Biowulf is fascinating, important, and in many ways representative of the transformation of life sciences and biomedical res Read more…

By John Russell

Intel Debuts Pohoiki Beach, Its 8M Neuron Neuromorphic Development System

July 17, 2019

Neuromorphic computing has received less fanfare of late than quantum computing whose mystery has captured public attention and which seems to have generated mo Read more…

By John Russell

Xilinx vs. Intel: FPGA Market Leaders Launch Server Accelerator Cards

August 6, 2019

The two FPGA market leaders, Intel and Xilinx, both announced new accelerator cards this week designed to handle specialized, compute-intensive workloads and un Read more…

By Doug Black

When Dense Matrix Representations Beat Sparse

September 9, 2019

In our world filled with unintended consequences, it turns out that saving memory space to help deal with GPU limitations, knowing it introduces performance pen Read more…

By James Reinders

With the Help of HPC, Astronomers Prepare to Deflect a Real Asteroid

September 26, 2019

For years, NASA has been running simulations of asteroid impacts to understand the risks (and likelihoods) of asteroids colliding with Earth. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the next, crucial step in planetary defense against asteroid impacts: physically deflecting a real asteroid. Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This