A Distributed Computational Implementation Of A Finite Element Code Using Fortran In Windows 9x Environment.

João R. Masuero, Armando M. Awruch


In order to solve large finite element problems, engineers and scientists have used
both supercomputers and cluster of workstations. Supercomputers have high acquisition and
maintenance costs, and has obsolescence in short period. Clusters of workstations are usually
associated with specific network hardware and software, and special implementation
techniques are necessary. The aim of this work is to test the viability of obtaining high
performance computing using usual low cost PCs connected by low cost network hardware,
using neither special operational system nor special programming languages, Only resources
usually available in computing laboratories at research centers are used. Specifically, in this
work were used PCs with at least 700 MHz processors and 128 Mbytes of RAM, connected by
a 100 Mbit/s local network. All machines use windows 9x and the implementation was made
using FORTRAN 90 language.
An initial application implemented in this computational environment was a Finite Element
code for 3D Solid Mechanics analysis in linear elasticity, using 8-nodes 1-integration point
bricks with hourglass control, and a conjugated gradient solver using preconditioners.
Results of scalability of solution time with the number of PCs used and the size of the problem
are shown. Initial results show the viability of this approach, both in solution time and in size
of problem that can be solved.

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