SGI acquires OpenCFD Ltd., maker of open-source computational fluid dynamics software

August 16, 2011 - via Military and Aerospace Avionics Intelligence

FREMONT, Calif., 16 Aug. 2011. SGI has acquired OpenCFD Ltd., a provider of open-source computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software. OpenCFD’s OpenFOAM software solves anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence, and heat transfer to solid dynamics and electromagnetics. CFD tools are commonly employed in the design, development, and testing of unmanned aerial and undersea vehicles, including the flow of air and water around the unmanned designs, as well as in the evaluation of thermal-management solutions, including air flow within an electronics chassis.

“Computational fluid dynamics is one of the most important application areas for technical computing,” explains SGI CEO Mark J. Barrenechea. “With the acquisition of OpenCFD Ltd., SGI will be able to provide our customers a fully integrated CFD solution, where all the hardware and software work together.”

CFD accelerates product design and development by eliminating the need to build expensive, physical prototypes. Using CFD, companies can model and simulate the interaction of liquids and gases with solid surfaces, addressing a challenge in creating various products, from bikes to airplanes, propellers to turbines, or from potato chips to silicon chips, says a representative.

Members of the OpenCFD team, led by Henry Weller, have joined SGI as full-time employees to be based out of SGI’s EMEA headquarters in the U.K.

SGI has also formed a non-profit foundation to make OpenFOAM accessible to everyone. The company invites scientists, developers, engineers, and students working in the field of CFD to join the OpenFoam community, download the software for a test drive, and make their own contributions.

In addition to providing free downloads of OpenFOAM source code from the SGI-sponsored OpenFOAM foundation’s web site, SGI will offer:
A fee-based OpenFOAM support subscription to help customers implement and run OpenFOAM in their environments.

A fee-based, supported SGI OpenFOAM distribution, including SGI message passing interface (MPI).

Training and professional services for complex CFD deployments on SGI and in other environments.

Financial details of the transaction, which closed on August 8, 2011, were not disclosed.

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Author:Courtney E. Howard