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General Motors Enhances Vehicle Development Process with Industry's Fastest Supercomputer
DETROIT, April 21

IBM System to Significantly Increase Computing Capacity

--- General Motors announced today that it
purchased the automotive industry's fastest supercomputer from IBM. GM's
newest supercomputer, based on IBM's POWER4 technology, allows greater global
collaboration, improved validation testing and, ultimately, reduced product-
development costs.
"The automobile industry is increasingly reliant upon computers to develop
and test vehicles. Our state-of-the-art computing platform allows us to
shorten the time it takes to bring a vehicle to market from 48 to 18 months
for some vehicles and significantly reduce structural costs in the process,"
said Jim Queen, vice president, GM North America Engineering. "Thanks to high
performance computing GM can move faster, introduce more new vehicles and keep
pace with changing consumer preferences."
GM's newest supercomputer more than doubles its high performance computing
capacity, again placing it as the automotive industry's fastest machine by a
wide margin. The level of compute power delivered by the new machine carries
the equivalent of doing one calculation per second on a calculator for more
than 285,000 years.
"IBM's leadership in high-performance computing, coupled with its deep
automotive industry expertise, makes it a perfect partner for General Motors
as it further improves its capabilities as a real-time company and better
positions itself to meet customer demand, adjust to market forces and grow,"
said Frank Roney, Managing Director, IBM General Motors Global Account.
"IBM's understanding of its customer's needs complements GM's strengths as an
innovator and industry technology leader."
Design modifications and engineering issues that once took months or weeks
to resolve can now be handled in minutes or hours. Over the past 10 years,
crash simulation has become the largest user of high-performance computer
resources at GM, helping to lower vehicle production costs by cutting down the
number of costly, full-size crash models that need to be built as digital
computer simulations do much of the work.
"High performance computing and technology innovation have played critical
roles in GM's 'Go-Fast' culture, affecting virtually every facet of what we
do," said Terry Kline, GM Global Product Development Process Information
Officer. "This increased computer capacity from IBM will enable better
decisions about vehicle designs and material specifications, ultimately
leading to higher quality and superior performing vehicles."
The following are examples of recent high performance computing work
within GM:
Innovative New Products -- Thanks to high-performance computing, GM can
develop new, low-cost vehicle architectures faster than ever before. When the
call came out to turn the Pontiac Solstice concept into a reality, GM created
the new Kappa platform and the Pontiac Solstice in record time and at a low
cost by using GM's computing network. With a heavy reliance on digital design
and validation, the team was able to shorten the time it would take to develop
and test this important new product. They were able to deliver a completely
new architecture and product in 27 months and at a price point of $20,000.
Global Collaboration and Product Development -- Creating products globally
requires a high reliance on computing resources and virtual collaboration
tools. The GTO team, working with the engineering and manufacturing staff at
Holden Ltd. in Australia, benefited from GM's ability to share large data
files between the 16 global engineering centers. This allowed the engineering
team to conduct work in both Michigan and Australia seamlessly.
Increased Cost Savings -- The increased use and reliance on digital
testing has allowed GM to eliminate a large part of the cost of building and
testing vehicles. By relying upon virtual crash tests, GM has been able to
reduce the number of crash vehicles needed by more than 85%. At a cost of
$500,000 per vehicle crash test, this adds up to significant savings.
IBM won the GM contract based upon product performance, physical packaging
and its commitment to deliver additional capacity in 2004 to meet GM's rising
engineering and analytical demands. With this deal IBM becomes the major
supplier of supercomputers to GM worldwide and establishes its technology as a
global standard for high performance computing.

Article Here


44,921 Posts
Originally posted by ilaoc77@Apr 21 2004, 07:51 PM
Good Lord!

188 Teraflops?!?!

That's Rediculous.. haha..
That's misleading... 188 teraflops is the TOTAL computational power IBM provides to the Top 500 SUpercomputers... NOT the power of GM's supercomputer.

I had to do a double-take on that... since I know the #1 Supercomputer in the World is the "Earth Simulator" in Japan. And that is only 35.8 Teraflops!! And that cost about $350M to make, and is built on a custome processor.

#2 is the ASCI Q supercomputer and that's built by HP running on the Alpha Processor at 13.8 teraflops.

#3 is the System X (aka Big Mac) supercomputer built by Apple Computer, running the PowerPC G5 (based on the IBM Power4 proc) and tops out at around 10 teraflops.

Thing is.... System X cost only $5.1M!!!! While #1 and #2 cost hundreds of millions more!!

GM should have gotten a Mac.

Oh yeah... Teraflops... Trillions of operations per second...

314 Posts
I read this article here a wile back on how GM will us 3d environments to simulate the asembly line inn "real time" and perfect it to work all the bugs out befor they even build any thing.

A week ago I saw a TV show on this process. Simply Amazing! Computers have given us the ability to turn a Concept car into a reality 10 times faster 10 times more acurate than that of the 60s-70s.

They were talking about things that just blow my mind. The future car they say will be able to be designed by the customers on a 3d program and built to reality using 3d modeling technology that will then get printed to a vat of resin that hardens. Completly unique they say! Imagine the cusomization possibilities! Makes Scion's claim to fame look lame.

633 Posts
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and YOU bought that.... hahahahahahah you sound like GM managment.

They buy everything the EDS people are selling... I would love to read the busniess case for a computer that powerfull.... I can't see the point.

304 Posts
I think EDS was originally developed by GM in-house. Then it was spun off as EDS. And I was thinking that was what they still used. The company I work for was looking into new CAD software a few years ago. We looked at EDS (my choice), SDRC (what Ford used), and Pro/E (what all the suckers use). Guess what, we went with Pro/E. We do mostly sheetmetal work, and I was thinking hmmm, we should pick software like what the largest sheetmetal company in the world uses. But my thinking did not prevail.

314 Posts
Originally posted by geronimo66@Apr 23 2004, 05:35 AM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA and YOU bought that.... hahahahahahah you sound like GM managment.

They buy everything the EDS people are selling... I would love to read the busniess case for a computer that powerfull.... I can't see the point.
don't underestimate the significance of a powerfull computer in the auto industry. Todays car is built ground up and tested in a computer before it's even built. This is extreemly important to our evolution in technology.
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