SGI acquires OpenCFD Ltd.

 In Entering Foreign Markets, Industry News

SGI acquires OpenCFD

SGI (Fremont, CA, USA) has completed the acquisition of OpenCFD Ltd. (Reading, UK).

OpenCFD is the leader in open source CFD software and has a large, active user base across commercial engineering, science and the public sector. OpenCFD is the developer of the OpenFOAM® software, consisting of over 80 solver and 170 utility applications – solving anything from complex fluid flows involving chemical reactions, turbulence and heat transfer to solid dynamics and electromagnetics. Customers benefit from the fact that OpenFOAM is an open platform and offers them immediate access and freedom to customize and extend its existing capabilities.

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

“We are excited to be part of SGI and now be able to take OpenFOAM to the next level,” said Henry Weller, founder of OpenCFD. “OpenFOAM is the highest quality code available for CFD. The open source model provides customers with the code transparency and the full view into the inner workings of the software they need to have confidence in the results, particularly when they perform safety calculations for projects such as nuclear reactors or aircraft design.”

CFD is accelerating product design and development across multiple industries 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 one of the key challenges in creating almost any product, from bikes to airplanes, propellers to turbines, or from potato chips to silicon chips. Companies worldwide are creating the future on SGI systems, and by providing an open platform for CFD, SGI is making CFD available to all product engineers around the world.

“TotalSim believes that the acquisition of OpenCFD by SGI and the formation of the OpenFOAM Foundation will provide the long-term stability, resources and structure for the continued success of OpenFOAM,” said Rob Lewis, managing director at OpenCFD customer TotalSim. “TotalSim is looking forward to continuing the relationship through SGI and working together to further expand the use and benefit of OpenFOAM to the engineering community.”

“In terms of cost, OpenFOAM dramatically lowers the barrier of entry to world class CFD software,” said John O. Hallquist, president of independent software vendor Livermore Software Technology Corporation. “By their investment in OpenFOAM, SGI now has the potential to significantly expand the CFD marketplace, not only to existing users, but to new users. This is truly an exciting development.”

The entire OpenCFD team, led by Henry Weller, has joined SGI as full-time employees and will be based out of SGI’s EMEA Headquarters located in the UK. In addition, SGI has formed a non-profit foundation to make OpenFOAM accessible to everyone and allow for community contributions. SGI is fully committed to the continued development of OpenFOAM, which will continue to be open under the GNU Public License (GPL). The company invites every scientist, developer, engineer and student working in the field of CFD to join the OpenFoam community, download the software for a test drive and to make their own contributions.

“OpenFOAM has built a strong following as an open source CFD solution,” said Steve Conway, IDC research vice president for HPC. “SGI aims to give the free, open source version a permanent home where it can flourish, while adding a fee-based version with even fuller features and tighter integration with SGI offerings. This would be a win-win.”

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, fully supported SGI OpenFOAM distribution, including SGI message passing interface (MPI). SGI® OpenFOAM® and SGI® MPI work together to provide the best performance possible.
  • Training and professional services for complex CFD deployments on SGI and in other environments.

For companies that would like to start using SGI OpenFOAM today, the full capability is available via the SGI® Cyclone cloud offering.

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

Source: SGI

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