At IBM Systems, developing reliable and robust designs of supercomputers is critical to IBM’s vision and continuing its leadership in our industry. Shorter development cycle time, increasingly dense product designs, along with advanced design features create real challenges in predicting structural performance of servers, such as the recently refreshed IBM Cognitive Systems’ POWER9 portfolio of servers. Both 4U and 2U versions have DDR4 RDIMM’s, POWER9 HLGA processor modules, PCIe Gen3 and Gen4 slots, blowers, hard drives, and internal storage controller slots.
To meet IBM shipping standards to ensure POWER9 system’s reliability and design robustness, ANSYS Mechanical and LS-Dyna FEA models were developed and physical tests were conducted. The ability to apply accurate predictive engineering methods using simulation early in the design cycle predicted the structural performance of the servers and shortened its development time, reduced number of physical builds, and therefore, reduced development cost.