San Jose, CA —The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (NCSA) is enabling software heavily used in industry to run faster, and it’s creating competitive advantages for some of the nation’s largest companies. Industry is a heavy user of supercomputing: it is central to the business of companies within diverse sectors such as oil and gas, pharmaceutical, aerospace and automotive. In engineering and manufacturing, powerful simulations are used extensively to design and prototype new products, to ensure crash safety or to enhance aerodynamic efficiency.
Merle Giles leads the Private Sector Program (PSP) and economic development initiatives at NCSA, and PSP members — including Rolls Royce, Procter & Gamble and Caterpillar — are tapping NCSA’s high-performance computing (HPC) expertise. Sixty percent of manufacturers in the Fortune 100 have worked with NCSA. And, with its high-profile impact, NCSA’s PSP is now set to play a key role in the new Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute — a public-private partnership formed with $300M of investment from government and industry.
Giles says his team works closely with their clients to help tune their software to exploit large supercomputing resources efficiently. Toward this end, NCSA is working with application performance tools from Allinea Software to increase the efficiency of crucial simulations — saving industry money and getting products to market faster. Allinea Software’s tools allow experts to quickly identify and resolve performance issues. The tools help to increase performance for software developed by the industrial users themselves, as well as software developed by third parties.
For example, using Allinea Performance Reports allows Giles’ team to improve performance for his users. “We might not always have access to source code, but through using Allinea Software’s tools we know performance when we see it — and how to achieve it when we don’t,” he says.
Other clients have their developers working closely with NCSA experts and using the Allinea MAP performance profiler to increase the performance of their code. “We use Allinea Software’s analysis tools to help clients do what they do, better. We can give them insight into the performance of their code at greater scale — they don’t have HPC systems of this nature in-house, so they can’t know what works,” says Giles.
“We’ve also paid really close attention to the commercial code vendors, because better performance will raise all boats. If we can help them to scale better, everyone benefits. The new tools from Allinea Software are helping us to do that,” he adds.
Rob Rick, Allinea Software Vice President Sales, Americas, says the partnership is transforming the outcome for industry. “Our tools help optimize that code so that it’s working the hardware to its greatest advantage. They get to use world-class tools in a world-class environment, and get world-class results. That gives them a leg up, a faster time to market.”