Supercomputing? There’s an app for that.

Supercomputer-based visualization and simulation tools can enable many enterprise organizations to revolutionize their process in areas such as prototype development and testing in virtualized environments. The problem is licencing simulation software can be very expensive.

An HPC application licence can cost about $50,000 a year.

Some industry experts believe a way to get around this is to turn the supercomputing model and convert the high performance computing process into an app.

For example, a manufacturer testing a new design for an aero dynamic 18-wheeler truck in a wind tunnel will likely have to spend about $100,000.

Running a simulation using a computer aided design (CAD) file uploaded to the Ohio Supercomputer Centres 8,500 core system, will achieve the same results but only run a tab of about $200 to $500 for a 6,000 CPU hour run or about 48 hours, according to Alan Chalker, director of OSC’s AweSim program.

Chalker’s team has received $6.5 million from the United States government and private groups including conglomerate Proctor & Gamble to discover ways to deliver HPC to manufacturers by using an app store.

To cut the cost of HPC application, AweSim will use some open sources HPC tools in its apps. The group is also working with major HPC software vendors to make parts of their tools available through an app.

Some HPC software vendors are interested in working with AweSim because doing so would open up new markets for them.

AweSim has built six apps already, including the one for the 18-wheeler. The OSC is building a software development kit to enable other organizations to build supercomputing apps as well.

Their goal is to enable other supercomputing centres to provide compute capacity for the apps.

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