Ansys 2023 Boosts GPU Acceleration
The most recent version of the software takes full advantage of NVIDIA RTX™ technology to improve CFD and other analyses.
March 10, 2023
In January, Ansys released Ansys 2023 R1, the most recent version of its engineering and simulation software suite. The latest update includes the full release of the multi-GPU solver in Ansys Fluent CFD; new features in the Structures product collection; the ability to leverage artificial intelligence with Ansys Mechanical to determine computational spend/time required for a simulation; and support for workflow automation.
To get a better idea of how users will benefit from some of the new features in Ansys 2023 R1, we spoke to MingYao Ding, Principal and VP of engineering at Ozen Engineering, an Ansys Elite Channel Partner based in Sunnyvale, CA. (You can see the full overview Ozen provided of Ansys 2023 here.)
What are some of the key improvements in Ansys 2023 that you think will be most beneficial to your customers?
MingYao Ding: I think the biggest thing is the new Fluent multi-GPU solver. We have run tests of Fluent on Dell and NVIDIA hardware, and it just destroys every CPU we have ever had in a workstation. We had a meeting with a customer, and they said their simulation in other tools took a day to run, and the results were not that great. With Ansys Fluent CFD, it took an hour to run on the CPU, and just two minutes with the GPU solver.
That is made possible with multiple GPUs from NVIDIA and the Dell systems that we use. For our internal testing, we are using the NVIDIA RTX A2000 and RTX A5000. Most of our customers are in the small- to medium-sized business range, and the vast majority of them use desktop workstations. They are showing amazing speedups with just a single GPU.
On the Ansys Mechanical side, the thing I find really exciting is the new topology optimization for sheet metal structures and for organic shapes. Ansys has really filled out our capabilities for topology optimization. You start out with a design, and tell the software you want to make the part stiffer or stronger, and the system will figure out what shape it should be.
Historically engineers have had to use their intuition, changing the geometry and running the simulations again, to see what is the best trade off between shapes. Now you can say, “Here is my starting part, make it 20% better,” and it can automatically do that using advanced numerics on what the shape is. We have had this technology for awhile, but the latest release has really filled out what kind of shapes you can optimize, and what materials you can use, and what manufacturing processes are available.
Are there new features you think users might overlook?
Users traditionally do not know about Ansys extensive optical and photonics offerings. Until a few years ago, Ansys was primarily known for mechanical, fluid dynamics, and electromagnetics, those core physics. In the last two years they have really become one of the biggest providers of optical simulation tools, which is not well known among a lot of engineers.
We work with companies that are interested in optical and mechanical analysis, and that has always been challenging because you had different companies providing the tools. Ansys can now provide full solutions from the optical side to the photonics side, and on the structural thermal side. That allows some amazing new workflows that will make it easier for engineers to make sure they are designing high-quality devices more efficiently.
Are there hardware upgrades or tweaks you would recommend for Ansys 2023 customers?
Ansys does extensive development and testing of new systems, hardware, memory and such, so we publish these suggested recommendations on a regular basis. The latest generation of CPUs have been shown to be significantly faster, at least 30% faster, than previous-generation CPUs.
Some simulations require a lot of memory, and some do not, but for some classes of problems, memory speed has a big impact on simulation speed. When it comes to how fast a simulation takes, there are three potential limiting factors: CPU, memory, or I/O, where you are reading and writing a lot of data. With the latest systems from Dell Technologies, all three of those will improve. We have detailed analytics on what may be slowing down a given simulation, so we try to help our customers by showing them how their hardware can be improved.
How is GPU acceleration being leveraged in Ansys 2023?
I think the Fluent multi-GPU solver is definitely the biggest change I have seen. Ansys Discovery takes full advantage of GPU acceleration. I have had customers that try to run Ansys Discovery simulations with a less-advanced GPU and did not get good results. The latest GPUs with more memory are really paying off for customers using Discovery.
But mostAnsys tools are GPU accelerated, and my team is in the process of testing and benchmarking those. Fluent was a total rewrite of the software, so that has shown the biggest increase in performance, but Ansys Mechanical, HFSS, and other modules will also perform better with the latest GPUs. One example is Ansys Speos which is GPU-accelerated and shows excellent performance on NVIDIA GPUs.
Any other tips you can offer about Ansys 2023?
We work closely with Dell, and we offer recommendations on hardware based on the types of simulations our customers are performing. We update those regularly, and you can learn more at Dell.com/Ozen. There are a lot of improvements in Ansys 2023, and we are focused on providing the right solution for customers in specific industries. There are a lot of webinars available from Ansys, and my team is happy to talk to anyone who is interested in the new features.
Dell and NVIDIA have developed specific hardware recommendations for Ansys applications, including: Ansys Fluent, Ansys Discovery, Ansys Mechanical, Ansys SpaceClaim, Ansys CFX.