Your source of photonics CAD tools

OmniSim FDTD

Omni-directional photonics FDTD simulations

Cluster Support for FDTD

Deploy your FDTD calculations over your entire network

Brief Description

The Cluster version of OmniSim's FDTD Engine provide scalable compute power by allowing you to distribute the calculation over a cluster of computers running under Windows or Linux. This will allow you to solve problems that are too big to run on a single PC and also to solve problems more quickly.

  • Familiar Windows based Graphical User Interface. All control is via a familiar CrystalWave or OmniSim user interface – once set up all cluster control occurs transparently to the user.
  • Linux or Windows cluster nodes (both 32-bit and 64-bit OS).
  • 64-bit Linux nodes: no memory limitation per node on Linux64 OS.
  • 32-bit Windows nodes: up to 3.5GB per node on Win64 OS.
  • Both 1D and 2D domain tiling (division of 3D problem into smaller elements).
  • Cluster Management Interface (CMI) – all cluster management occurs via the CMI, including installation of nodes, diagnostics, resource limiting.
  • Automatic load balancing – giving slower nodes less work to do.
  • Support for SMP – each node can have multiple CPUs and/or multi-core CPUs.
  • Network: 100Mb/s, 1Gb/s or faster Ethernet.
  • Up to 100 compute nodes (approximate) supported efficiently, each with up to 24 CPU-cores.
  • Supports Intel Core family, Xeon, AMD Athlon64 and AMD Opteron.
  • Almost all features of the single-computer versions of CrystalWave and OmniSim FDTD engines are available also on cluster version.

Photon Design’s 3D-FDTD engine has constantly outperformed competing products, usually by a significant margin. The exact performance obtained under cluster operation is dependent on several things:

  • network bandwidth
  • domain shape
  • domain size – larger domains will run closer to the ideal speed.

As a guideline you can typically expect a problem using at least 1GB per node to run better than 80% of the ideal speed – i.e. the speed that would be obtained if all inter-node communication was infinitely fast. This assumes that your network is quiet except for clustering traffic – additional network traffic will slow down the cluster.

Windows Cluster

The Windows cluster is designed as a convenient ad-hoc clustering setup where unused PCs on your network can be conveniently added to a cluster calculation with little added work. The setup is shown below.

Windows Cluster Setup

Linux Cluster

The Linux version of the cluster FDTD is designed for more dedicated high-performance cluster use. In this scenario typically the compute nodes are on a private network, inaccessible from designers’ desktop PCs and accessible only through a “head node”. This configuration is shown below.

Linux Cluster Setup

Hardware Recommendations

If you do not yet have a cluster and would like some advice on what to buy to obtain the maximum performance with our CrystalWave and OmniSim Cluster Editions, see our document fdtd_cluster_hardware_recommendations.pdf for recommendations on what to look for in a computer cluster.