DECEMBER 14, 2006
BMW's new supercomputer
BMW Sauber this morning revealed a new generation of supercomputer with mind-blowing capabilities to help the team develop better Formula 1 cars. The computer, known as Albert 2, can complete 12, 288, 000 000 000 calculations per second, which enables the team to get five times the performance of the previous computer - itself only a couple of years old - for only twice the power.
The new computer is the result of BMW's close relationship with Intel and partners Dalco, Fluent and APC.
"In Formula 1 we use computers for almost everything," says the team's head of aerodynamics Willem Toet. "The whole world is changing over to mathematical simulation. F1 is no exception and we use it in every area we can think of. I don't expect we can ever give up wind tunnel testing but then unlike some other teams we don't expect we'd need to build another windtunnel. We do additional testing using mathematical simulations. This is one of the very best windtunnels on the planet. We are able to use a full scale car, we can move the model up and down, pitch it, roll it yaw it, move the wheels, simulate crosswinds but there is still a huge amount we cannot do. We cannot simulate true cornering, sliding dynamically the angle of the air is different at different points on the car. We cannot simulate true distortion of tyres in a corner. With computational fluid dynamics we can do these things."
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