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Field Precision has added support for parallel processing to Aether, a 3D code for time- and frequency-domain electromagnetic simulations.

The measured speed improvement is close to a factor of 2X on a dual-core computer.

Body parallel processing has long been regarded as a suitable path to significant speed increases in computer simulations, according to the company.

Recent technological developments make parallel processing a practical reality on personal computers running Windows.

These include: the ability to effectively address unlimited memory in Windows XP64 and Vista64; and the growing prevalence of dual- and quad-core machines.

Field Precision has the goal of supporting automatic parallel processing in the 64-bit versions of all of its software packages by mid-2010.

As the programs are written in Fortran 95 with careful optimisation, the serial versions already achieve high speed, according to the company.

The clean code organisation is intended to make parallelisation straightforward and effective.

With parallel processing, Field Precision expects speed amplification close to 2X for a dual-core machine and 4X for a quad-core machine.

The company recently created a parallel version of Aether.

The unified finite-element package handles all stages of a solution: mesh generation, field calculation and interactive analysis.

Time-domain calculations are appropriate for pulsed-power devices, electromagnetic interference from transient events and the diffusion of magnetic fields into conductive structures.

In the frequency domain, Aether handles both closed and open structures.

Closed-system tasks include searches for resonant frequencies, the generation of mode field distributions and the calculation of SQS factors.

Open-system solutions include antenna simulation and the determination of S parameters for microwave networks.

Benchmark tests were performed with unmodified examples from the Aether application library.

In a resonant-mode search, the standard serial version of the program completed the task in 255 seconds.

On average, the task used one processor of a dual-Xeon system.

The parallel version used 100 per cent of the system capability and completed the task in 142 seconds, according to Field Precision.

The run time was 56 per cent of the serial-program time.

The parallel version of Aether will be released for general distribution on 1 February 2010.

All purchasers of the serial version will receive a free update.

Field Precision

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