Elmer version 8.1. is out

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raback
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Elmer version 8.1. is out

Post by raback » 04 Nov 2015, 17:31

Dear Elmer Users,

We are happy to announce a new Elmer minor release 8.1.

The source code of the release is available in "release" branch of GitHub at https://github.com/ElmerCSC/elmerfem. You may retrieve the release at any later date using its tag by "git checkout release-8.1". There is also a fresh Windows installer for version 8.1 available at

https://sourceforge.net/projects/elmerfem/.

The release notes list the most important new features of Elmer since the last official version 8.0 published on 29 April 2015. There has been around 500 code commits after that time.

For version 8.0 Elmer was already transferred to use cmake and being hosted by git (at github). These changes have already benefited the development of Elmer a great deal. We are now working with several development branches. Also the use of ctest has been improved as we have started to use labels in testing and quite recently also extended the testing to parallel cases. These are important steps in ensuring the quality of the software. Until recently it could still happen that the parallel code broke down during development even though the serial operation was intact.

For most parts the release notes cover only features that are visible for the end-user, or a developer utilizing only some default routines. Beyond that there has been numerous improvements and fixes to the code that are not directly accessible concern to the end-user. Therefore we have not covered them in the notes.

The most active application field during the last sprint has been computational electromagnetics. This is due to the strong project portfolio of the main developer team in that area. Also significant developments in contact mechanics have been made. However, these are still partially under development and are therefore not fully covered in this release.

This release is up-to-date with almost all branches. It therefore also includes latest developments of Elmer/ICE branch also, for example.
Concerning these features the coverage is, however, very limited. More information is available on the Elmer/ICE user community.

Elmer documentation has also been modified to better follow the features of version 8.1. Unfortunately the documentation is never quite complete and is still lacking behind in some developments.

We would like to thank the developers outside CSC for many important contributions. Also there has been many users testing Elmer and sending bug reports. Without these efforts development of Elmer could not have been as fast.

The release notes are attached here for convenience.

Best regards,
ElmerTeam
CSC - IT Center for Science, Finland
http://www.csc.fi/elmer
Attachments
release_8.1.txt
Release notes for Elmer version 8.1
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btjhedin
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Re: Elmer version 8.1. is out

Post by btjhedin » 06 Nov 2015, 11:30

It is very interesting to hear about the contact modelling. That would make Elmer closer to be a substitute for commercial FE-solvers in the industry such as Ansys, Nastran and Abaqus.

I've been working with industrial FEM now for a couple of years, and perhaps 95 % of the projects could then be solved with Elmer if one could do contact-modelling.

/Tommy

Elanid
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Re: Elmer version 8.1. is out

Post by Elanid » 19 Nov 2015, 19:59

Hello,

I've noticed in the updates (ubuntu), that there is some package called elmer-cuda. I got excited seeing it! I know I haven't posted much on the forums, but I've learned so much using Elmer, it's a wonderful tool! So I just wanted to ask if there is actually cuda support now and can we now use the graphics cards to make really fast computations? Or was I living under a rock and oblivious to this neat feature?

Best regards, Elanid.

raback
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Re: Elmer version 8.1. is out

Post by raback » 19 Nov 2015, 23:13

Hi Elanid

No, there is no cuda support and there are no plans to have it. Whereas many applications take good use of GPUs the indirect memory addressing in sparse matrices really kills the performance. The performance is fully determined by the speed of memory access. The only way that I see GPUs could be used would be if somebody would come out a really fast linear algebra implementation for sparse matrices.

Now there are plans to better support Intel MICs. The nice thing with them is that the performance will be boosted also on standard Intel CPUs when addressing these. The code is already thread safe but still the multithreading covers such a small fraction of the code that full MPI parallelization gives better performance. Maybe after a year or so this may be viable option.

-Peter

Franz Pichler
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Re: Elmer version 8.1. is out

Post by Franz Pichler » 02 Feb 2016, 13:01

Hello,
i would like to contribute to the GPU discussion above.
The solver package "paralution", that works on many backlends including GPUs, has an explicit elmer interface. Do you guys know about that? i didnt try it out with elmer . But the solver itself is fast and handy.

best regards

Franz

raback
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Re: Elmer version 8.1. is out

Post by raback » 02 Feb 2016, 14:24

Hi

Indeed there seems to be an API to Paralution. That's nice to know.

The instructions given seem to refer to the old gnu autotools system, now we are using cmake and the instructions would be somewhat different. It would be of course nice to include the API within the default Elmer compilation as well. Even now there are many interfaces which are activated only if the corresponding library exists.

-Peter

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