OnScale vs Legacy FEM Codes


We are often asked how we compare to alternative Finite Element software packages. Here is a list of the top subjects that we commonly address to all new users:

1. Speed

Ultrasonic simulations require a fine mesh across the full model, and therefore can reach tens of millions of elements very easily especially with full 3D models. This in turn requires a large computational effort to solve the problem in a reasonable (useful) time frame.

Our solver has been optimized for these types of problems and are orders of magnitude faster than legacy software, allowing users to complete simulations faster, run more parametric sweeps and more realistic setups with less approximations.

2. Memory Efficiency

Large models requires large RAM requirements. Our solver efficiency, much like our computational speed, approaches 1000x more efficient compared to the more general purpose packages which coupled with our speed, allows you to explore greater detail and complexity in your designs.

3. Time-domain Capabilities

Fundamentally, our solver technology is based in the time-domain with all features built around this methodology. As a result, we work with analog signal (waveforms varying over time) which directly correlate with real-world signals. This allows users to recreate experimental setups directly in the software to get like-for-like datasets out.

4. Coupling of Domains

All physics are coupled seamlessly into the one simulation and do not require complex boundary setups or element types to handle multiple domains such as fluid and elastic materials. Simply enter the correct properties for your material and the solver will do the rest.

5. Parallelization

From day 1, a requirement of the core solver was to be deployable on HPC/distributed computer networks. The solver was written to work on the most challenging numerical problems facing the US government at the time, and these problems were very large in terms of simulation resource (RAM, number of elements). Problems such as progressive collapse of buildings, and large scale wave propagation (blast, impact) had to be solved on 1980s compute hardware.

As a result, with today's computer technology, we can solve realistic system configurations (sensor, array, substrate, encapsulant, environment) in the time domain, that our competitors cannot.

6. True Multiphysics in the Time-domain

Multi-stage simulation setup to capture unique boundary conditions are requirements for disparate solver types. For example, setting up a static electrostatic solution, to couple into an structural solution, to then couple into an acoustic solution. Our solver simplified this and handles this automatically.

7. Harmonic Analysis

From a single time-domain simulation, users can extract frequency-domain responses for any frequency. The added advantage of this approach over an eigen-frequency approach is that we inherently capture damping and coupling effects. This gives a 'true' modal response of the system, rather than an eigen solution that merely indicates where modes may exist, but does not fully present their impact.

8. Real World Results

OnScale can be thought of as a virtual experiment. We generate the same metrics that engineers would gain from an experimental setup. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) such as electrical impedance, bandwidth, directivity, sensitivity, pulse-echo response, and many more are available directly from a single simulation.

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