Computing To Compete

September 18th, 2009 7:47 pm
Posted by Douglas Eadline
Tags: , ,

The Optimized Mudflap And Other HPC Success Stories

Welcome to the world of industrial HPC. Today, we will consider a small part of those large trucks that spend most of their day crisscrossing our highways. At highway speeds, anything that moves through the air has an aerodynamic cost. Pushing a big box takes more energy than a round ball, which is why better aerodynamics means less energy and lower costs. Almost all trucks have some kind of mudflaps to prevent road dirt and debris from hitting the truck. Midsized truck maker Kenworth wondered how much it costs to move those mudflaps though the air. To answer the question, they turned to HPC where they were able to determine  trimming and tapering the mudflaps can cut about $400 from a typical trucks annual gas bill. This amount adds up quickly when you have a fleet of 1000 trucks. And, based on the mudflap success, Kenworth has started using HPC to help increase the efficiency of their truck designs, thus saving customers even more money. You can read more about these efforts in Heavy-duty Computing from Fortune Magazine.

If mudflaps don't pique your interest, but saving money with HPC does, then you may be interested learn more about The Council on Competitiveness (CoC). Who or what is the CoC? They are a group of corporate CEOs, university presidents, and labor leaders committed to enhanced U.S. competitiveness in the global economy. One of their main focus areas is HPC. That is correct. Not only can HPC dock bio-molecules, design jets, and find oil, it can also help many companies save money and be more competitive. The CoC is a nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization based in Washington, D.C. The Council shapes the debate on competitiveness by bringing together business, labor, academic and government leaders to evaluate economic challenges and opportunities. The High Performance Computing Initiative is intended to stimulate and facilitate wider usage of HPC across the private sector to propel productivity, innovation, and competitiveness. Click the link to find out more how other companies have cashed in on HPC. Yours could be next.

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Author Info


Dr. Douglas Eadline has worked with parallel computers since 1988 (anyone remember the Inmos Transputer?). After co-authoring the original Beowulf How-To, he continued to write extensively about Linux HPC Clustering and parallel software issues. Much of Doug's early experience has been in software tools and and application performance. He has been building and using Linux clusters since 1995. Doug holds a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Lehigh University.