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Optical Processing Could Revolutionise CFD

Posted By: James Duez
Date:Thu, 19 Sep 2013, 12:29 a.m.

Optalysys is a British company working to build the world's fastest computer processor for CFD.

We are designing parallel processing technology that uses light rather than electricity as the processing medium. By developing efficient optical-digital interfaces to take full advantage of the power provided by the optical processing, some fundamental limitations can be addressed. Specifically, speed and power consumption. This optical processing technology is capable of revolutionising CFD. It is not a question of improving how CFD is done but rather providing a form of CFD simulation which simply cannot be achieved another way.

Whereas digital chips use instruction sets optimised for their serial vector processing, our technology uses true parallel processing to perform field (matrix) operations in a single cycle. Within that cycle we can perform Fourier Transform processes (equivalent to FFTs) and field operations at arbitrary scales. At the core of our optical designs is the ability to combine these operations into much longer processes, but still keeping that same cycle time – and furthermore the technology can be dynamically reconfigured to perform different tasks.

We envisage the early forms of our technology to operate as co-processors, capable of interfacing with current models and performing commonly used post-processing operations on the fly, combined with the ability to analyse the data being produced. Looking further ahead, we want to extend the functionality to produce equation-solving processes akin to the DNS/LES type of CFD models.

Click here to learn more and follow our progress...

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