James Hoch, Ph.D.

Vice President, Software Development, Exa, Corp.

HPC as a Key Enabler for PowerFlow

PowerFLOW is a unique CFD tool both in terms of accuracy and ease of case setup, the latter primarily because grid generation is fully automatic. The combination has allowed users to drive PowerFLOW deep into their design processes, which in turn has led to an increased demand to reduce simulation turnaround time, so that simulation results can more readily impact the trajectory of the design process. Since turnaround time is dominated by simulation time (although that is not the entire story), Exa's primary focus in the HPC arena is improving the scalability of PowerFLOW simulations. Today typical PowerFLOW simulations scale well to several hundred cores on a standard x86 Infiniband cluster. A few years ago, that scalability matched well with the largest systems available to users. Today, however, we are witnessing a shift in customer thinking such that turnaround time is paramount, and throwing thousands of cores at the problem is acceptable. As a result, Exa has initiated an effort to apply some novel strategies to further improve the scalability of PowerFLOW.


James Hoch is Vice President of Software Development at Exa Corporation, where he leads the development of the PowerFLOW CFD software suite. Prior to joining Exa, he was a lead architect on several research parallel computer systems and related compiler projects at Sandia National Laboratories.

Workshop Program
updated: 2011-10-19