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CD-adapco Adopts PGI Unified Binary from The Portland Group


The Portland Group™, a wholly-owned subsidiary of STMicroelectronics and leading supplier of compilers for high-performance computing (HPC), today announced that CD-adapco, a world leader in full-spectrum flow, thermal, and stress simulation software, is building the latest version of their flagship product STAR-CD 4.0 using PGI Unified Binary™ technology.

The PGI Unified Binary is a single x64 binary executable containing code sequences optimized for both AMD and Intel x64 processors ensuring correct function and optimum performance regardless of the type of x64 processor on which the application is deployed. The PGI Unified Binary enables developers like CD-adapco to leverage the latest processor innovations from both AMD and Intel while treating x64 as a single platform, maximizing flexibility and eliminating the need to target and optimize for two separate processor platforms. PGI Unified Binary technology has been included with all PGI compiler products since version 6.1.

“We are seeing a growing acceptance of the PGI Unified Binary by ISVs like CD-adapco as they come to appreciate its unique advantages. The ability to deploy a single executable that is optimized for both x64 platforms can help reduce the time and cost required to develop, test and deploy a complex high-end application like STAR-CD,” said Douglas Miles, director, The Portland Group. “The PGI Unified Binary also has obvious advantages for application end-users who are increasingly working in environments containing a variety of types of x64 processor-based workstations, servers and clusters.”

STAR-CD is a leading global product for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), which is used to simulate flow and thermal behavior of fluids and solids. CFD programs enable scientists and engineers to analyze all types of fluid and thermal behavior in products being designed, before or instead of prototype testing, to gain much earlier valuable insight into key product performance factors. Typical applications range from air flow over a car or airplane wing, to internal combustion engines to keel performance of a racing yacht or the flow of blood through the heart. The STAR-CD system provides one of the most effective numerical methodologies available in an industrial CFD code with the high level of accuracy needed for complex physical geometries and flow behavior. STAR-CD is distinguished by its ability to deliver the speed, efficiency, accuracy and robustness required for advanced engineering design and development.

“PGI Unified Binary enables us to provide one STAR-CD installation for the x64 Linux platform that works well on both AMD and Intel CPUs. It allows STAR-CD to apply optimization for the corresponding CPU type depending on where it runs. This benefits our customers who have both AMD and Intel CPU based workstations and clusters.” said Dr. Mark Liu, deputy manager, Product Development at CD-adapco. “It also helps us to have fast product delivery to use one distribution for both CPU types.”

Recent trends suggest that the two main x64 processor architectures from AMD and Intel will continue to drift further apart technically in the future. Platform integrators, ISVs and major users are expressing interest in tools and technologies that can help them bridge the compatibility gap. Recognizing that this is already a critical decision factor for many companies, processor manufacturer AMD is taking an active role in cultivating and promoting customer-centric solutions like the PGI Unified Binary.

“The PGI Unified Binary gives our HPC ISVs an effective means to deliver more platform options to their customers,” said Earl Stahl, vice president, Software Development at AMD. “It provides a real solution for developers facing the problems and trade-offs involved with supporting multiple platforms, and it allows them to do so without compromising processor performance.”

PGI® compilers are recognized in the HPC community for delivering world-class performance across a wide spectrum of applications and benchmarks, and they are referenced regularly as the industry standard for performance and reliability. PGI compilers and tools are used widely in high-performance computing, the field of technical computing engaged in the modeling and simulation of complex processes, such as ocean modeling, weather forecasting, seismic analysis, bioinformatics and other areas.

Today, PGI compilers and tools are used predominantly on 64-bit and 32-bit Linux and Microsoft Windows workstations, servers, and clusters based on microprocessors from AMD and Intel. With their latest Release 7.0 in March 2007, The Portland Group extended support to Microsoft’s Subsystem for UNIX-based Applications (SUA) and provisional support for Apple’s Mac OS X operating systems.


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