SSA Blog

Re-imagining the art of the possible

Posted by Laurence Marks

When I started doing FEA for a living, (to give you an idea of how long ago that was Margaret Thatcher was PM and I drove a Black 2 litre Capri), what you could do was largely limited by the computer you had. My first PC for FEA was a 286 with 640kb of RAM. To be honest you couldn't do much with it.

This week at SSA we built a new PC with 24 processors and 96GB of RAM. You can do quite a lot with that. And it didn't break the bank. Although software costs are still not negligible, the huge increase in computing power available to everyone means that, as analysts, we may well have to re-imagine the art of the possible. Realistic simulation is moving from marketing slogan to achievable aim, and it appears to be doing it very quickly. What we considered impossible a few years ago may well be possible now, and we will have to, sooner rather than later, work out how we can couple this greater simulation scope to creating better and better designs. It's really quite exciting - I've got at least one pet biomechanics problem lined up for the new machine, and if it works you'll see it here first.

FEA

SSA customers who'd like to try the new mega PC to investigate how multi-procesors can speed up analyses, or more critically to increase the scope of the simulations that they take on, are more than welcome to drop by to try it out with their problems.

The new SSA mega PC - 24 processors and 96GB of RAM, and less than £3,000 to build..