Engineering Simulation Software in 2018 and Beyond
Shawn Wasserman posted on January 04, 2018 |
Computer-aided engineering thought leaders discuss future trends for simulation.
The release of ANSYS Discovery Live turned a lot of heads in 2017. What should we expect from simulation in 2018? (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

The release of ANSYS Discovery Live turned a lot of heads in 2017. What should we expect from simulation vendors in 2018? (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

The year 2017 contained quite a few bombshells in the world of computer-aided engineering (CAE) and simulation.

From the release of ANSYS Discovery Live’s near real-time simulation software, to the surprise acquisitions of MSC Software by Hexagon and Mentor Graphics by Siemens, the past 12 months have been quite entertaining.

So, the question on the minds of those in the simulation community is, what can we expect in 2018 and in the near future?

To get to the bottom of this, invited a series of CAE vendors and thought leaders to discuss what they expect to see from their organizations and the industry going forward. Let’s mesh this crystal ball, shall we?

Simulation Industry Overview

So, let’s cut to the chase. How will the CAE world fare overall in 2018?

According to Joe Walsh, CEO of intrinSIM and industry thought leader, we should expect to see steady growth of about 8.5 percent based on research by the Cambashi CAE Observatory.

“However, behind this steady growth there is significant activity on multiple fronts that indicate that 2018 will be a transition year to enable higher growth rates in the future,” said Walsh.

“The growth is also not even across all aspects,” Walsh added. “The Design Space Exploration (DSE) segment of this market, for instance, is expected to grow by 10 percent based on joint research by Ora Research and intrinSIM.”

Mark Hindsbo, vice president of ANSYS, has more optimistic numbers. He suggests that simulation usage will double in the next year. According to Hindsbo, “This doubling will involve consumption of more of the classic simulation as we know it today, along with the release of new solutions that will enable every engineer to use simulation. Simulation will also expand from its traditional realm of product design into manufacturing and operations.”

Though these numbers from Hindsbo and Walsh are vastly different, they both point upward. So, users should expect to see their ranks improve in the next few months.

Now what will happen to all of this growth in sales? Brad Holtz, president and CEO of Cyon Research, suggests that much of the money made in the industry will be moving toward research. This is in line with Walsh’s belief that vendors will be experiencing a transitional year. Pumping funds into research—be it academic or internal—reflects an investment strategy to improve user numbers in the future.

Holtz suggests that much of this research will be used to determine how to marry machine learning with simulation. The idea will be to reduce the simulation computations and improve the user experience in ways that allow newer users to pick up the software faster. By having a system learn what to expect from results based on thousands of previous runs of various loading conditions, we can teach simulation software to point our designs in the right direction more quickly and easily.

“The machine learning might get to the point where the system will make recommendations,” suggested Holtz. “We are a very long way from that, but at COFES (Congress On the Future of Engineering Software), we'll discuss how to bring that about.”

The added benefit to this research is that it might spark some added CAE education within colleges and universities. This should be a continual goal as simulation expertise doesn’t exactly grow on high performance computers (HPCs).

Expanding Simulation with New Technology, Apps and Democratization Tools

Simulation users inspecting a simulation using augmented reality (AR). Democratization tools like AR will spread the use of CAE.

Simulation users inspecting a simulation using augmented reality (AR). Democratization tools like AR will spread the use of CAE.

The industry is aiming to make simulation more pervasive. To do that, you must first make simulation usable by nonexperts and ensure that there is a steady supply of experts to verify the works of others.

“In the short term, Autodesk believes that the use of simulation technologies will become increasingly engrained into the DNA of mainstream engineering,” said Vikram Vedantham, senior business manager at Autodesk Inc.

“The engineers of today, and the student community that will power tomorrow’s taskforce, are increasingly adept at leveraging the power of simulation to make design decisions,” added Vedantham.“Coupled with seamless and connected workflows with core design tools in the market, simulation will enable engineers to make educated design decisions.”

This push for new users means that in 2018, further support will be poured into tools, user interfaces (UI), technology and licensing models that democratize simulation.

Even tools like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) give users the ability to better interact and visualize simulations. Tools like this will make CAE easier to use and more pervasive.

“Businesses are finally realizing that VR is not a toy. Mixed reality, or AR, is not a toy VR. They are visualization tools, and AR is much more than that,” said Holtz. “There are number of things I suspect will come to the market that will transition AR/VR from things that look like toys to things that look like professional tools. People can then virtually interact with the design and can then identify when the system can fail. This way, they can address these use cases.”

ANSYS Discovery Live Will Make More Waves in 2018

ANSYS Discovery Live promises users CAE results in seconds. This potential disruption will be hard to ignore in 2018. (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

ANSYS Discovery Live promises users CAE results in seconds. This potential disruption will be hard to ignore in 2018. (Image courtesy of ANSYS.)

Simulation software itself will also become easier to use in the near future. Perhaps, the most successful simplification of simulation to date is ANSYS Discovery Live. The voxel-based simulation tool offers a simplified UI and near instant simulation results. This tool will be perfect for designers who are wondering how their geometry decisions affect a product’s overall performance trends. Of course, engineering experts and traditional CAE tools will need to be called in when looking at the final design and failure analysis. However, voxel simulations definitely have a place in the simulation workflow, particularly in early development.

“I think the value of voxel-based analysis as we saw with ANSYS Discovery Live will take off,” Holtz said. “I expect to see other efforts from other vendors that will fall in the same vein. Voxel-based solutions wouldn’t surprise me, but we will see other solutions that will provide other dramatic shifts from traditional CAE for those that are currently not reachable by the current software offerings given to the general population of CAE customers.”

Not surprisingly, Mark Hindsbo of ANSYS, agrees with Holtz’s predictions. He notes that the commercial release of Discovery Live will occur in early 2018 and that it will help inform the product decisions of ANSYS customers by offering engineering simulation insights to those who have traditionally found simulation too difficult or time consuming to perform.

“From feedback we’ve received from the tens of thousands of customers who have tried the free preview of Discovery Live, we know we have succeeded in creating the easiest-to-use, most flexible engineering simulation software ever available,” boasted Hindsbo. “Our vision is that simulation will become as pervasive and as easy to use as Excel. We aim for 2018 to be the year when we double the number of users of ANSYS simulation, and that will only be the beginning of the journey we have planned with our Discovery family of products.”

That’s quite a bold statement. But given the sheer speed and ease of use of the technology, there is certainly a market that is hungry for a tool like Discovery Live. After all, ANSYS reports that even novice users have been able to upload geometry and gain simulation insights from the software in minutes. Undoubtedly, there is something appealing there to designers, students and anyone in the initial design phase of a product.

Simulation App Usage Will Accelerate Quickly in 2018

Simulation app from COMSOL determines the transmission loss and acoustic pressure in a muffler. (Image courtesy of COMSOL.)

Simulation app from COMSOL determines the transmission loss and acoustic pressure in a muffler. (Image courtesy of COMSOL.)

But new fancy UI and voxel-based simulation tools aren’t the only things that will grow simulation’s user base in 2018. Though nothing new, the appification of simulation, for instance, will continue throughout 2018.

These tools see simulation experts take their more tedious simulations and wrap them in a tailor-made UI that is self-contained and error proofed. The aim is to spread their wisdom and simulation tools to others in their organizations.

"In 2018, we will see the democratization of simulation go to the next level, with thousands of people outside the traditional R&D departments using simulation apps to improve their devices and processes,” said Svante Littmarck, president and CEO of COMSOL, Inc.

“At COMSOL,” Littmarck added, “we strive to simplify the creation of easy-to-use specialized apps based on complex and detailed COMSOL Multiphysics models. Simulation is now being introduced in industries that never had access to it before, and we are proud to be a part of this evolution."

Sumanth Kumar, vice president at Dassault Systèmes, SIMULIA Group, agrees with Littmarck. He said, “Having seen the power of simulation in the hands of the expert, [customers] are pushing us to expand the audience for simulation to democratize the knowledge of experts and allow all users—engineers, designers and decision-makers—to benefit from the insights and learnings that industry-specific simulation can provide.”

Dassault calls this appification capability Simulation Data Science. It gives users the tools they need to capture a simulation model, share it, and publish it as a best practice that is wrapped up in a form-based interface. This will ensure the app’s proper use around the office. The tool has other capabilities such as data analytics and design exploration tools, but for the sake of argument in this discussion, it works to appify SIMULIA simulations.

The appification of simulations into best practices using Simulation Data Science on the 3DEXPEREINCE. (Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes.)
The appification of simulations into best practices using Simulation Data Science on the 3DEXPEREINCE. (Image courtesy of Dassault Systèmes.)

“Interest in this appification capability is accelerating rapidly, especially as it is available as a cloud solution on mobile devices. I really think it will explode in 2018,” said Kumar.

AEC Simulation Tools to Grow in 2018

AEC simulation in SimScale looks into interior air distribution and ventilation. (Image courtesy of SimScale.)

AEC simulation in SimScale assesses interior air distribution and ventilation. (Image courtesy of SimScale.)

Similar to simulation apps, job-specific simulation tools will also grow. These will be particularly useful to those on production lines and implementation teams. The idea is to offer the simulation tool in a UI that is tailor made for one industry or job role. Will more of these tools see the light in 2018 and beyond?

“PTC brought out an engine-specific design system many years ago,” said Holtz.“It was customized to the design of engines. There was a good reason to do that, and I suspect there will be reasons to do more. That will depend on what the total market for the need is and the total cost of doing the customization. Only when you will see the return will you ever see it done.”

David Heiny, CEO of SimScale, suggests that one sector that might be in need of job-specific simulation tools is the architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry. “In 2017, some of the largest AEC companies in the world, such as WSP and ARUP, became SimScale customers,” explained Heiny.“We’re now actively developing several features that are in particular demand by the AEC industry….With the traditional barriers removed, we’ll see simulation being used in more industry verticals and companies.”

MSC’s Engineering Design Platforms to Grow in 2018

Another way to get simulation into the hands of more users is to package them with various engineering tools under a unified UI. This improves the user experiences and makes it easier to have multiple different tools communicate. Examples include Siemens’ Simcenter, Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE, and the Autodesk 360 line. MSC Software has been slowly developing Apex into one of these platforms.

“The Harris Hawk release of Apex will ship early in 2018 and continue our deliveries against an aggressive roadmap to bring new levels of ease of use and productivity to the simulation process,” said Brian Shepherd, CTO of MSC Software, “Customers in the aerospace, automotive, machinery and heavy equipment industries will especially appreciate the additional process integration capabilities and extended support for interoperability for scenarios where MSC’s core products of MSC Nastran and Patran are established.”

Will a New Licensing Model Reign Supreme in 2018?

Holtz suggests that new licensing models in 2018 will also promote growth in the simulation industry. One of these licensing models to pay attention to has been dubbed non-denial licensing.

At first glance, the new license sounds similar to token-based licensing. However, this new license will target those large to medium businesses that have occasionally run out of tokens in the past.

“The new licensing schemed agrees that the company that has nondenial access to the software. It is never turned down for having enough tokens or too many CPUs/workstations using the program,” said Holtz.“They will never be turned down; they just need to pay more when they negotiate the subsequent year. This way, the company isn’t at risk of the spigot being turned off.”

By implementing a licensing system like this, companies no longer need to feel restricted with their CAE software. You can then start to offer the software to anyone that might possibly benefit from it, be that a design team, production floor, customer support or implementation team.

Often it isn’t enough to make simulation software easier to use or capable of solving the problem at hand within the time allotted. Even with these benefits, the software is useless to an engineer who has no access to it. By updating licensing schemes, vendors can go a long way toward improving usage in 2018.

Digital Twin to Become Ubiquitous in Simulation Industry

Simulation will see further expansion in 2018 thanks to the growth of the digital twin. Engineers will use live, operational data to inform their simulations.  (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

Simulation will see further expansion in 2018 thanks to the growth of the digital twin. Engineers will use live, operational data to inform their simulations. (Image courtesy of Siemens.)

Many believe that the digital twin has become one of those confusing buzz words in recent times.

However, for engineers, the concept is simple: connect real-world sensor data, broadcast it to a central hub, typically over the Internet of Things (IoT), and then use that data within a digital model for further study, design or decision-making.

“2018 will be the year when we see some of the first digital twin prototypes move into actual industrial usage. At ANSYS,” said Hindsbo, “we have been working with industrial leaders to develop the first use cases where simulation runs next to the actual device.The twin uses sensor data in realtime as the boundary conditions for a simulation to optimize operational settings, predict issues and prevent failure.

“In terms of simulation, we will go from one digital blueprint, used in product design, to having unique simulations running for each individual asset in production,” added Hindsbo. “This is another mega trend that will, in and of itself, more than double the usage of engineering simulation in the long term. Our efforts in 2018 will be a significant step in that direction.”

In other words, Hindsbo is explaining that CAE can be one of the brains of a digital twin’s virtual model. The twin takes the real-world data and inputs them into the simulation as boundary conditions. The output can then be used to predict the physical twin’s performance. This information can also be used to make changes to the designs in order to fix flaws that were unknown, or not well understood, before the IoT system was installed.

Jan Leuridan, senior vice president at Siemens PLM Software, said, “The ultimate goal of the digital twin is to merge predictive, model-based analytics with IoT big data to gain operational performance insight.With the digital twin, you can truly connect the virtual world with the real world and make instantaneous decisions about the difference. 2018 will bring significant advances toward this vision.”

Shepherd agreed, and notes the importance of integrating simulation technologies into the quality life-cycle process. He said, “Hexagon is unique with a portfolio that combines simulation software, manufacturing software, and inspection hardware and software.  Each of our software products generates a huge amount of data, whether simulating the expected performance of a part, calculating how it should be machined, or measuring what has been manufactured. Sharing information between these software domains increases the knowledge base being used to make decisions, offering opportunities for new insights to improve productivity.”

This can even go a few steps further, according to Shepherd. He envisions a point where artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to drive design, simulations and the digital twin. He said, “improvements can be made by feeding back data from one process to another. By creating a digital thread between various process stages, the full potential of intelligent manufacturing software will be unlocked. To reach the state of self-correcting systems, automated processes must work hand in hand with intelligent software to effectively and efficiently leverage the data captured by the eyes and ears of the factory.”

Many industry experts suspect that there will be a quantitative shift towards increasing the functions of simulation within the Digital Twin in 2018.

For instance, Leuridan from Siemens, said, “2018 will see more companies across different industries leveraging simulation and digital twins to speed up product development and engineering. To be truly transformative, these digital twins must have the realism necessary to capture the complexities arising from different types of physics—such as structural, thermal, flow, motion, electromagnetic and multiphysics scenarios. The digital twins must be used to intelligently explore the design space. Companies also need to maintain digital continuity across the product lifecycle to realize full traceability of their designs and close the loop from requirements to actual usage.”

With Siemens’ hands in the programable logic controller (PLC) market, it has a considerable advantage merging the digital twin with the IoT and Industry 4.0. It should come as no surprise that Siemens will be investing heavily into the digital twin and IoT in 2018.

Leuridan explained, “our current generation of portable data acquisition systems can stream data directly to the cloud, and simulation software can run in near real-time to mimic the actual operating condition in a remote location.”

Dassault Systèmes is also ready to invest heavily into the digital twin. So much so that it has started to brand its 3DEXPERIENCE platform as a digital twin of sorts. Kumar and his team are aiming to link their design platform multitool, dubbed the 3DEXPERIENCE Twin, into a digital twin’s physical model.

“When the digital twin is connected to the original customer requirements and design data, then information can be used to predict current performance and to improve next-generation product in an intelligent way,” said Kumar. “Not only is the connection between the virtual world and the real world reduced to zero, but there is digital continuity and seamless feedback between the two worlds that brings great potential advantages to our future society in all industries. This is a fast-moving, rapidly developing concept in its early stages. I think 2018 will be the year where the 3DEXPERIENCE Twin comes into its own.”

The ESI Group is also getting in on the digital twin rebranding with its new hybrid twin. Since ESI recently launched and acquired technologies critical to Industry 4.0, many expected to see a push like this in 2018. In fact, Alain de Rouvray, chairman and CEO of ESI Group, has every intention of riding this technological wave.

“Looking to the future,” said Rouvray, “ESI has recently launched the integration of new technologies, such as System Modeling to animate virtual products, Big Data to mine information from real-world past events, Artificial Intelligence to extract usable meaning from information, and the Urban Connected Virtual Environment to immerse assisted products into their expected usage life in service.”

Clearly, many companies have seen the value of the digital twin, and the simulation vendors are doing what they can to capitalize on this market. It’s a good marriage of technologies, so expect to see it grow in the years to come.

Expansion of Additive Manufacturing to Grow with Simulation

Simulation of a laser direct metal deposition (LDMD) 3D printer. (image courtesy of ESI Group.)

Simulation of a laser direct metal deposition (LDMD) 3D printer. (image courtesy of ESI Group.)

If you haven’t heard about the additive manufacturing (AM) trend, then you must be living under a rock.

Though the jury is still out on how 3D printing will, or will not, disrupt the manufacturing sector, one thing is certain, 3D printing is here to stay.

“Been paying attention to 3D Printing for more than 30 years, and all I can say is we ain’t seen nothing yet,” exclaimed Holtz.“There is still much more to come.”

Holtz started to list a series of technical applications where simulation could be used to improve the realm of additive manufacturing.

For instance, he asked, “Where do we need material? There is a whole class of computational methods for where materials will be used. Lattices? There is a whole class of CAE for that, too. How do we simulate the microcrystalline structures of metals? How do we build to get the crystalline structure we need? Sometimes there is stress in the structure with metal printing. How do we design our way out of that? I will say we will see more technology like this in 2018, and it will be embedded in systems as well.”

So, what is fueling this push toward additive manufacturing? Leuridan suggests that the two industries leading the charge are the automotive and aerospace sectors, which are looking for ways to lightweight vehicles to improve fuel efficiency.

“Here, we can point to the work we are doing to advance generative design and simulation of additive manufacturing processes,” said Leuridan.

Topology optimization, generative design and any other optimization tool run by CAE lends itself to 3D printing. This is because additive manufacturing allows you to build products we once thought were impossible to build. This opens the door to using simulation to design truly optimized parts, instead of settling for a local maxima and minima that is easier to manufacture.

But it isn’t just Siemens that is getting into the 3D printing game. For years, ESI has had technology that can simulate a laser direct metal deposition 3D printer, which you could read about here.

But what about this year? Nearly every CAE vendor interviewed had something to say on the matter:

  • “MSC has seen great adoption of our verticalized simulation capabilities in the areas of digital material modeling, Digimat, and manufacturing process modeling, Simufact. Both of these applications converge with additive manufacturing. MSC will continue our leadership in this hot new area with additional investments and deliveries for both metal- and plastics-based AM.  Our aggressive release schedule will be a major growth driver for AM in 2018, with Digimat 2018 and Simufact Additive V3 both planned to be released December 2017.” -Brian Shepherd, senior vice president, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence and CTO, MSC Software
  • “The Dassault Systèmes end-to-end solution for additive manufacturing is really taking off. We are look forward to scaling it beyond our initial customers [in 2018]. Our multiband solution contains optimization-based functional generative design, print process simulation, and 3D-print manufacturing preparation and support. Additive manufacturing has the potential to truly revolutionize manufacturing over the next decade,” -Sumanth Kumar, vice president, Dassault Systèmes, SIMULIA
  • “We also believe that we can accelerate the workflows for users to go from a generative output, to print, or product, by delivering powerful, seamless, integrated and intuitive automated processes. It is our mission to help manufacturers break away from the current constraints in product development and production, and fast-track their motive to go into efficient design and manufacturing,” -Vikram Vedantham, senior business manager, Autodesk Inc.
  • “ANSYS already has capabilities such as topology optimization, which allows you to find the optimal shape for desired performance. With our recent acquisition of 3DSIM, we are extending simulation into the realm of the actual additive manufacturing process. In 2018, we will launch a combined solution that takes you from the design of additive parts to their optimal production, factoring in residual stresses from the print process, distortion, material properties and much more,” -Mark Hindsbo, vice president, ANSYS, Inc.

Clearly, with all of the CAE companies setting a bull’s-eye on simulation software for the AM space, now might be the time to start investing in both 3D printing software and technology. Seems like a smarter investment than Bitcoin.

But how smart of an investment is 3D printing and simulation? Well, Hindsbo thinks that “additive manufacturing will over time drive at least another doubling of simulation usage.”

Autonomous Cars Chase Computer-Aided Engineering for Answers in 2018

Simulation of LIDAR-based object detection and classification. (Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.)

Simulation of LIDAR-based object detection and classification. (Image courtesy of Siemens PLM Software.)

Another industry that will be making close ties to the CAE industry will be the autonomous driving market. This marriage will become ever more apparent in 2018.

The hype on autonomous cars, trucks, drones and any other vehicle on the earth, moon or sky has captivated both the public and private mindset.

But if artificial intelligence (AI) is to ever learn and then prove it can keep us safe on the roads, it needs to clock millions, perhaps billions, of driving hours. This can only be possible with the help of simulation technology.

“There is no bigger potential disruption in the auto industry than the promise of autonomous vehicles, and virtually every major auto company, many established technology companies, and a swath of new startups are focused on winning this technology race,” said Shepherd of MSC Software.

“With our market-leading Adams multibody dynamics solution,” he added, “we already enable our customers to confidently define and simulate the controls and dynamics of vehicles. In 2018, we will deliver expansions to Adams to incorporate real-time simulations and hardware-in-the-loop scenarios. Further, our Virtual Test Drive application continues to enable the creation of realistic scenes and scenarios to test and challenge the sensor networks and AI agents responsible for autonomous vehicle control.”

But as industry focuses on cracking the autonomous driving nut, they will inevitably also improve other automotive technologies. These will all be a boon for the CAE space. Companies like Siemens are certainly taking notice of the growing potential for simulation tools in the automotive world. And this growth potential is conveniently within a market that already trusts the simulation vendors for tools like finite element analysis (FEA) or computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

“In automotive, we see an increased focus on technologies for enhancing fuel efficiency, extending the driving range of electric powertrains, and autonomous driving,” confirmed Leuridan. “For example, our solutions for physics-based scenario modeling through the addition of TASS International specifically help us deliver solutions for the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).”

So, as long as Tesla, Google, GM and the rest of the world works on autonomous vehicles, you can be sure simulation will be driving that revolution.

Cloud Is King for SMB Simulation, But What Is on the Horizon?

Thanks to the cloud, more engineers in SMB have access to simulation tools.

Thanks to the cloud, more engineers in SMB have access to simulation tools.

Two of the oldest complaints about simulation is the time it takes to crunch all the numbers and the cost of purchasing the high-performance computing (HPC) to crunch those numbers.

Thankfully, the cloud and GPU-based solvers are proving that these issues may one day be a thing of the past.

Again, ANSYS Discovery Live is a key example here. The technology relies on GPU and is able to offer users simulation results in a flash. Unfortunately, we also discussed how these results, though useful in early development, are not accurate enough for traditional failure analysis.

So, what about reducing the capital costs associated with the traditional analyses that are capable of the heavy simulation lifting? And while we are at it, how can we make them faster? This is where we might find use for the cloud and its ability to perform massively parallel computations.

“More engineering simulation workload will move to the cloud: Rising awareness of the benefits of moving the engineering tool stack to the cloud will continue in 2018,” said Heiny. “At SimScale, we’ve reached tens of thousands of CAD models imported on the platform, along with tens of thousands of simulation jobs carried out every month. A reinforcing factor is that adjacent tools such as CAD are moving to the cloud—one out of every sixCAD models on SimScale in 2017 came from a cloud CAD system.”

Rescale is also seeing growth in its cloud services. Rescale offers cloud-based HPC on demand for the use of CAE simulations. Joris Poort, CEO of Rescale, has reported that the company has experienced significant growth in 2017 — 30 percent month-over-month to be exact. It also expects this to grow in 2018.

“This is pointing to a clear inflection point in the adoption of cloud for HPC in the enterprise,” said Poort. “As the CAE market continues to grow robustly, and demanding system optimizations and multidisciplinary simulations enter engineering workflows, Rescale forecasts significant growth in 2018 and beyond. With only about 5 percent of HPC CAE simulations currently running in the cloud, Rescale will be focusing on enabling the CAE market with ease of use, reduced cost, scalability, advanced technology and helping to deliver a platform that allows customers to achieve what is really possible now and into the future with HPC in the cloud.”

Unfortunately, not everyone is trusting the cloud option. This is a particular problem for large, secretive organizations or those working with defense contracts. These organizations can go for an on-premise cloud, but this defeats the purpose of keeping costs down. Off-premise cloud is king for the small to medium business (SMB) markets that are looking to save a dime. But for the organizations that want to keep things hush-hush, they will stick to HPC.

A third option is noted by Holtz. He suspects that the near future will see an explosion on the hardware chip level. Talk of non-von Neumann computers are on the rise. These computers would allow for a large degree of parallelism.

“Fundamentally, how are these new technologies in the pipeline going to change the algorithms and ways we think about simulation?” asked Holtz. “This may not come into play in 2018, but it will be pressing in three to four years. They we will start to see things happen. It’s a conversation that needs to be had.”

Where do you see the simulation industry going in 2018 and beyond? Comment below.

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