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Adapting the Ansys Finite-Element Analysis Program to an Attached Processor Disclosure Number: IPCOM000131621D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Nov-11
Document File: 11 page(s) / 41K

Publishing Venue

Software Patent Institute

Related People

John A. Swanson: AUTHOR [+5]


Floating Point Systems, Inc.

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This record contains textual material that is copyright ©; 1983 by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. All rights reserved. Contact the IEEE Computer Society (714-821-8380) for copies of the complete work that was the source of this textual material and for all use beyond that as a record from the SPI Database.

Adapting the Ansys Finite-Element Analysis Program to an Attached Processor

John A. Swanson Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc. George R. Cameron University of Portland
J. Carl Haberland Floating Point Systems, Inc.

Finite element analysis has long been applied to structural engineering problems. This dual processing scheme speeds FEA by orders of magnitude over stand-alone superminicomputers.

The finite-element analysis, or FEA, method is used to solve a variety of scientific and engineering problems. Most major civil and mechanical engineering design firms use FEA programs as a design tool, since government-imposed safety regulations and the need for lower cost design require greater in-depth analysis.

Engineering firms are finding computer systems dedicated to engineering design activity to be cost-effective. However, the FEA process has high computational requirements; a superminicomputer that can handle data preparation and interpretation of analysis might not have the capacity for the computationally intensive solution portion of analysis. A high-speed array processor -- an attached processor -- added to a superminicomputer can offload it for the more interactive portions of the design and analysis cycle.

The dual processor concept was implemented at Swanson Analysis Systems, Inc., which added the FPS-164 attached processor to its DEC VAX-I 1/780 superminicomputer. Swanson modified the Ansys general-purpose, finite-element computer program to run on the dual processor system and evaluated its performance.

The finite-element analysis method

The finite-element analysis method is a mathematical technique for constructing approximate solutions to boundary value problems.' The method involves dividing the solution domain into a finite number of subdomains, or elements, and constructing an approximate solution over the collection of elements. The elements con nect at points called nodes, at which continuity of the approximating functions between elements is maintained.

For elasticity problems admissible displacement function is introduced to relate displacements within the element to the nodal displacements. Material properties are also introduced; when combined with the displacement function, they form a relationship between applied forces at the element node and the nodal displacements.

A small set of simultaneous linear equations for each element relates nodal forces to nodal displacements. These equations are assembled into a global set of linear simultaneous equations that relates the forces and displacements at...