High-Performance Computing

High-performance computing (HPC) is an important consideration for academia. Complex research projects often involve simulating large assemblies, even entire systems which in turn demand considerable computational resources when rapid results are required. The widespread availability of multicore processors, even in laptops, allows for impressive performance gains for medium to large numerical problem sizes. The ANSYS Academic products meet these HPC requirements by providing two levels of HPC:

  • Built-in HPC: For Teaching, Research and Associate level licenses HPC capability is built into each task of the Academic base licenses. For most physics solvers this is both shared & distributed memory HPC capability for up to four cores, plus GPU access is enabled for ANSYS Mechanical and ANSYS Fluent solvers.
  • Add-on HPC: For Research and Associate level licenses, the built-in HPC capability can be extended by purchasing additional ANSYS Academic HPC licenses. For most physics solvers both shared & distributed memory HPC and GPU capability can be extended.

The ANSYS Academic product solvers support the same HPC methods as provided by our commercial HPC products. So for example, if the ANSYS Academic product contains ANSYS HFSS then the HPC methods available to the Academic HFSS product is the same as for the commercial ANSYS HFSS product. It is also important to note, that the type of HPC available varies by solver & physics type, and not all solvers support all HPC methods.

Built-in HPC

All of the ANSYS Academic Products that bundle solvers that support HPC have four HPC tasks built-in. These four HPC tasks can be used for either a CPU core or a GPU card/slot. This means that up to four CPU cores, or alternatively four GPU cards can be used to accelerate simulation solution times.

Structural, Thermal & Fluids Academic Products

  • Built-in HPC capability is allocated/restricted to each task. For example, for a 25-task license of ANSYS Academic Research, each user/task can access up to four cores, with a maximum of 4 cores available per solution.
  • Shared Memory (SMP), Distributed Memory Parallel (DMP) and Domain Decomposition methods are included.
  • GPU access is enabled for ANSYS Mechanical and ANSYS Fluent solvers. Each of the four built-in HPC tasks can be used for 1 GPU card/slot, meaning that up to four GPU cards/slots can be accessed per academic product license. Note that we do not restrict the number of GPU cores per GPU card/slot.
  • Frequency Sweep VT and VT Accelerator is built-in and available for the ANSYS Mechanical APDL solver. This is a legacy HPC frequency sweep solution that has been largely replaced by DesignXplorer and Design Point Updates.
  • The following structural, thermal and fluids solvers support HPC:
    • ANSYS CFX (SMP, DMP)
    • ANSYS Fluent (SMP, DMP)
    • ANSYS Mechanical (SMP, DMP, Domain Decomposition)
    • ANSYS Autodyn (SMP, DMP)
    • ANSYS Polyflow (SMP, DMP)
    • ANSYS Icepak (SMP, DMP)

Electronics Academic Products

  • Built-in HPC capability is not allocated/restricted to each task. For example, for a 25-task license of ANSYS Academic Research HF, one hundred HPC tasks are built-in, so a single user can use all 100 HPC tasks, or alternatively 25 users can each use 4 cores per solution.
  • A legacy shared memory (SMP) multiprocessor capability is enabled, this can make use of any number of SMP cores, but does not scale well beyond 4 cores. It has been largely superseded by other HPC methods.
  • Distributed Memory Parallel (DMP) and Domain Decomposition methods are included.
  • No GPU access is enabled.
  • The following electromagnetics solvers support HPC:
  • ANSYS HFSS (SMP, Domain Decomposition, Distributed Frequency Sweep)
  • ANSYS Maxwell (SMP, Distributed Frequency Sweep)
  • ANSYS Designer (SMP, Distributed Frequency Sweep)
  • ANSYS Q3D (SMP, DMP)
  • ANSYS SIwave (SMP)
  • ANSYS TPA (MP, Distributed PKG analysis)

Add-on HPC

All ANSYS Academic Research and ANSYS Academic Associate products can extend their built-in HPC capability with add-on HPC licenses. ANSYS Academic Teaching products may not extend their built-in HPC capability.

One task of ANSYS Academic Research/Associate HPC extends the base HPC ability of any one of the solvers that supports HPC that is contained in the base product (see built-in HPC section for more details of what HPC methods are available for each solver). Each task adds another core.

Both SMP, DMP & Domain Decomposition methods are extended to additional cores by the add-on HPC academic products. Please see the Built-in section above for specifics about what bundled solvers support what type of HPC.

For the structural, thermal and fluids academic products, the “add-on” HPC licenses can be used to extend the GPU capability provided by the built-in HPC tasks. Each add-on HPC license (task) can be used to access either a CPU core or a GPU card/slot.