Thursday, July 19, 2007

Super Computer

Previously I’ve written about BMW Sauber’s newest Super Computer, better known as
Super Albert.” Along with recently noting Renault’s major investments to upgrade its facilities with it’s newly formed Computational Fluid Dynamics organization.

Apparently the race has begun in earnest for the Formula 1 Constructor’s utilization of CFD computing technology as an extension of their current wind tunnel programs. This cutting edge technology (CFD) allows the virtual simulations of testing of any new aerodynamic design without having to physically build a wind tunnel model.

This also allows F1 teams to re-invest the huge sums of money and resources required to physically build, operate and maintain wind tunnels into the future wave of simulated F1 chassis in the never ending demand to continuously create the latest winning designs.

The only drawbacks to CFD is that it requires humongous computing capability, i.e.; Crey-type super computers which are extremely expensive as well as the massive amounts of electricity to operate these ginormous machines, hence the long standing process of F1 teams forging technical alliances/partnerships with major computer companies.

Therefore I was pleasantly surprised to receive the following press release the other day in regards to AT & T Williams latest CFD development. This is encouraging news since I’m a big fan of Nico Rosberg and would enjoy seeing Williams return to its previous winning ways.

I have simply copied the news release as sent to me below. Thanks Katherine…

Lenovo Revs Up Supercomputer Power for Formula One
AT&T Williams Formula One Team Selects Lenovo Best-Engineered Systems. Aerodynamic simulation speeds up by 75 percent

GROVE, OXFORDSHIRE, UK, 17 July 2007 – Lenovo today announced the successful installation of a powerful supercomputer for AT&T Williams, now being used in the racing team’s wind tunnel simulation facilities in the UK.

AT&T Williams and Lenovo collaborated on the customized supercomputing solution, designed to optimize the aerodynamics of the team’s Formula One cars.

“Aerodynamics plays a critical role in determining how competitive we are for each of the race circuits we visit,” said Alex Burns, chief operating officer, AT&T Williams. “The optimum balance of downforce and drag varies between different circuits, so the aerodynamics at Monaco -- lots of tight corners with few straights -- are very different from Monza, which has few corners but lots of long straights. The increase in supercomputing power from Lenovo will give us the capability to examine a greater range of design variations between races, which will increase our development rate, bringing more performance to the car sooner.”

The supercomputer is being used for operations in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), performing billions of calculations that simulate airflow around a virtual model of a three-dimensional, on-track racing car. This process will help predict how even the smallest changes in component shape and placement will affect drag and downforce, with resulting impacts on speed and handling.

With a peak performance of eight teraflops (trillion floating point operations per second), the Lenovo supercomputer is four times more powerful than the team’s previous solution. This will enable the team to speed up the process of aerodynamic simulation by approximately 75 percent.

“Aerodynamics has been steadily gaining importance in recent years, accounting for roughly three quarters of the performance of a Formula One car today,” Burns said. “The tremendous increase in power delivered by the Lenovo supercomputer will allow us to perform the same tasks we do today in a quarter of the time.”

The team uses the supercomputer to examine numerous aerodynamic variables, such as surface geometry, wheel turbulence and track surface. For example, the team can analyze the effects of adjusting the curvature of the car’s surface, with the goal of improving the generation of downforce and the reduction of drag.

The aerodynamic simulations are being done in combination with experimental techniques in the team’s two wind tunnels. Computer-generated tests will enable the AT&T Williams team to focus resources on building the most promising solutions for testing in the wind tunnel and on track.

“The high-performance computing solution developed for AT&T Williams is the latest example of Lenovo capabilities in world-class engineering and research,” said Deepak Advani, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, Lenovo. “We’re excited about providing a supercomputing solution that delivers the power and speed necessary for AT&T Williams to stay competitive in the most technologically advanced sport in the world.”

This agreement is an extension of the relationship between Lenovo and AT&T Williams. At the beginning of the 2007 race season, Lenovo announced its support as an Official Partner of AT&T Williams. The team uses Lenovo PC technology in every facet of its business, from ignition to inventory.

About Lenovo

Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) is dedicated to building the world's best-engineered personal computers. Lenovo's business model is built on innovation, operational efficiency and customer satisfaction as well as a focus on investment in emerging markets. Formed by Lenovo Group's acquisition of the former IBM Personal Computing Division, the company develops, manufactures and markets reliable high-quality, secure and easy-to-use technology products and services worldwide. Lenovo has major research centers in Yamato, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information, see

About AT&T Williams
AT&T Williams is one of the world’s leading Formula One teams, with 16 FIA Formula One World Championship titles and 113 Grand Prix victories to its credit. Today, Williams F1 employs around 520 personnel at a 40 hectare technology campus based in the heart of the UK’s Motorsport Valley in rural Oxfordshire. The company is unique as an entrant in the FIA Formula One World Championship as it is the only organization that exists solely to race. The company’s core competencies are the design and manufacture of Formula One race cars, and the deployment of this expertise in running the team’s entries into the Grand Prix each season. The company was formed in 1978 and is privately owned by Sir Frank Williams and his long-term business partner, Patrick Head. For more information and photographic images of the car, visit: