Posts tagged ‘Simulator’

IBM Moves Closer to Creating Computer Based on the Brain

At the Supercomputing 2009 conference, IBM announced significant progress toward creating a computer system that simulates and emulates the brain’s abilities for sensation, perception, action, interaction and cognition, while rivaling the brain’s low power and energy consumption and compact size. Scientists at IBM Research and Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, have performed the first near real-time cortical simulation of the brain that exceeds the scale of a cat cortex and contains 1 billion spiking neurons and 10 trillion individual learning synapses. The simulation was performed using Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s Dawn Blue Gene/P supercomputer with 147,456 CPUs and 144 terabytes of main memory.

            IBM scientists have also collaborated with researchers from Stanford University to develop an algorithm that exploits the Blue Gene® supercomputing architecture in order to noninvasively measure and map the connections between all cortical and sub-cortical locations within the human brain using magnetic resonance diffusion weighted imaging. Mapping the wiring diagram of the brain is crucial to untangling its vast communication network and understanding how it represents and processes information.

            These advancements will provide a unique workbench for exploring the computational dynamics of the brain, moving the team closer to its goal of building a compact, low-power synaptronic chip using nanotechnology. This work stands to break the mold of conventional computing, creating a new paradigm to meet the system requirements of the instrumented and interconnected world of tomorrow.

Traditional Computing                      Cognitive Computing

Stored program model                               Replicated neurons and synapses

Digital                                                                Mixed-mode analog-digital

Synchronous                                                 Asynchronous

Serial                                                                Parallel

Centralized                                                    Distributed

Hardwired circuits                                     Reconfigurable

Explicit memory addressing                 Implicit memory addressing

Over-writes data                                         Updates state when info changes

Separates computation from data      Blurs data/computation boundary

             As the amount of digital data that we create continues to grow massively and the world becomes more instrumented and interconnected, there is a need for new computing systems with intelligence that can spot patterns in various digital and sensor data; analyze and integrate information real-time in context; and deal with the ambiguity found in complex environments.

Businesses will simultaneously need to monitor, prioritize, adapt and make rapid decisions based on ever-growing streams of critical data and information. A cognitive computer could quickly and accurately put together the disparate pieces of this complex puzzle, while taking into account context and previous experience, to help business decision makers come to a logical response.

            “Learning from the brain is an attractive way to overcome power and density challenges faced in computing today,” said Josephine Cheng, IBM Fellow and lab director of IBM Research – Almaden. “As the digital and physical worlds continue to merge and computing becomes more embedded in the fabric of our daily lives, it’s imperative that we create a more intelligent computing system that can help us make sense the vast amount of information that’s increasingly available to us, much the way our brains can quickly interpret and act on complex tasks.”

            IBM and its university partners were recently awarded $16.1 million in additional funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for Phase 1 of its Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE) initiative. This phase of research will focus on the components, brain-like architecture and simulations to build a prototype chip. The long-term mission of IBM’s cognitive computing initiative is to discover and demonstrate the algorithms of the brain and deliver low-power, compact cognitive computers that approach mammalian-scale intelligence and use significantly less energy than today’s computing systems.

            “The goal of the SyNAPSE program is to create new electronics hardware and architecture that can understand, adapt and respond to an informative environment in ways that extend traditional computation to include fundamentally different capabilities found in biological brains,” said DARPA program manager Todd Hylton, PhD. Technical insight and more details on the SyNAPSE project can be found on the Cognitive Computing blog at http://modha.org/.

             www.ibm.com/research

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November 18, 2009 at 11:36 pm Leave a comment

Invensys Releases New Virtual Reality Training Solution

Invensys Operations Management announced the commercial availability of its new EYESim virtual reality immersive training solution. The first industrial virtual reality training solution based on first-principle simulation and augmented reality, EYESim technology enables engineers and operators to see and safely interact with the plant and the processes they control.

            Using and applying gaming skills familiar to younger employees, the EYESim solution also appeals to new plant employees and experienced engineers. It combines virtual reality technologies with high-fidelity process and control simulation, computer-based maintenance and documentation management and other applications to provide a highly realistic and safe training environment for improving operating efficiency and skills. Simulations are driven by the company’s DYNSIM® process simulator, FSIM Plus software, I/A Series® control system emulation and other compatible programs.

            “The increasing complexity of plants, combined with a changing workforce, demands next-generation tools that can safely and interactively train new operators and engineers without putting them, the community or the environment at risk,” said Tobias Scheele, VP advanced applications, Invensys Operations Management. “This system provides a stable, realistic environment for practicing routine operational and maintenance functions, as well as rarely performed volatile tasks such as plant shutdowns. In addition, using computer models of real equipment allows endless experimentation without ever taking the equipment offline, mitigating risk to production as well.”  

            By merging virtual plant imagery with screens from asset management or other application software, the Invensys solution creates a computer-generated representation of either a real or proposed process plant. Using a stereoscopic headset, trainees enter a completely immersive environment in which they can move throughout the plant. Such freedom is possible because the virtual environment is rendered at 60 frames per second, significantly faster than what can be achieved by traditional, non-real-time rendering.

            EYESim technology is geared toward the energy, chemical, oil and gas, and other vital process industries as they face knowledge management, training and retention challenges brought on by an aging and dwindling industry workforce.

            “The loss of experienced workers and associated knowledge is increasing the risk of conducting safe, reliable and efficient plant operations, but the EYESim solution creates an environment in which operators and engineers can quickly absorb and utilize the wealth of process data and control system information that is available to them,” said Tom Fiske, PhD, senior analyst with ARC Advisory Group. “Traditional operator training simulators play a significant role in protecting knowledge assets, and these systems are evolving into increasingly more sophisticated simulators, such as the new solution from Invensys, which combines virtual reality and immersive technology with high-fidelity modeling to enhance knowledge protection and improve operator performance. Additionally, outside operators and other operational team members can use such simulators to provide more realistic and complete training experiences, or to assist in other asset management and operational activities.”

www.invensys.com

September 22, 2009 at 1:59 am 1 comment

Fugro Acquires General Robotics

General Robotics Ltd. (GRL), supplier of simulation and visualization software to the offshore oil and gas sector, has been acquired by Fugro for an undisclosed sum. GRL will be renamed Fugro GRL and will become a member of Fugro Subsea Services, keeping the same management team and staff headed by Dr. Jason Tisdall. Along with developing and implementing products for Fugro operating companies, Fugro GRL will have commercial independence to pursue activities outside Fugro. The company will continue to maintain offices in Milton Keynes and Aberdeen.

            Fugro acquired GRL to develop and expand GRL’s subsea technologies in order to enhance the services offered by Fugro’s Subsea Services Business Line. GRL expects to be working closely with a number of Fugro operating companies on a wide range of subsea scenarios and practical implementations.

            “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work as part of a worldwide group in developing our simulation and visualization products, and to further our expertise across a raft of subsea environments and challenges, but with the assurance of Fugro’s financial backing all the while,”  said Dr. Jason Tisdall, Managing Director of General Robotics Ltd. “For GRL’s existing customers it remains business as usual, except that our R&D will now have the financial backing of Fugro. GRL is now a Fugro company, but we will continue to have commercial independence to make our own decisions and get our own customers. Fugro has an excellent reputation for letting companies it acquires get on with the job.”

 

‘Chinese Walls’

An immediate concern about this merger for many subsea contractors is the possibility of conflicts of interest, commercial confidentiality and impartiality.

            “Given that some of our customers are direct competitors of Fugro, we will have very clearly defined Chinese Walls, so that customer information intended only for GRL will be managed and maintained only by GRL. One of our immediate challenges is convincing customers that we can absolutely maintain the confidentiality of their information. I believe we can and, importantly, we have Fugro’s agreement to these security procedures,” emphasized Tisdall.

            Trevor Larkum, Chairman of GRL, added: “In terms of maintaining a level playing field with Fugro vis-à-vis other subsea operators, EU trading laws are very clear on this, that we can’t offer a better deal to Fugro companies than we do to anyone else. The nature of the product also helps us with confidentiality. The new technology in DeepWorks 2.0 makes it very straightforward to produce proprietary, customer-specific components that plug into the customer’s copies of DeepWorks, making it easy to keep customers separate and to develop specific modules for individual customers that will not be available to anyone else. This also enables customers to develop their own solutions with their own team members on-site.”

            GRL was founded by the late Professor David Broome of University College, London, and is now the world leader in developing customized, subsea simulation products for the offshore oil industry. A number of subsea service providers, including Fugro, Sonsub, DeepOcean and CTC Marine Projects, use GRL ROVolution 4.0 ROV pilot trainers and simulators.

            GRL’s DeepWorks software is in use for subsea engineering simulation and visualization. DeepWorks allows users to design, rehearse and monitor (in real time) the most complex offshore engineering missions, subsea interventions and marine operations. GRL software gets its unique edge from the ability to model the hydrodynamic and physics-based properties of real objects and how they behave in the real world, providing a clearer perception and an improved understanding of the underwater work environment. The DeepWorks suite of software tools delivers not only simulation, but can also perform engineering analysis and the 3D animation of complex work tasks.

www.generalrobotics.co.uk

www.fugro.com

September 5, 2009 at 1:22 am Leave a comment

VMAX Launches Next-Gen Subsea Simulator

Subsea simulation software company VMAX Technologies Inc, part of the Triton Group, has launched its new V1.5 project simulator for oil and gas field visualization. Built on the proven, physics-based VMAX project simulator engine, V1.5 brings a new dimension to ROV (remotely operated vehicle) pilot training and mission planning through the use of 2D survey tools. The simulator allows users to create their own real-time subsea scenarios and test them using engineering workstations, ROV training consoles and offshore ROV systems fitted with integrated simulators.

The next-generation software also includes a new training system and an expanded suite of plug-ins and manuals, providing users with additional tools for effectively creating field-level scenarios.

Terry Lease, general manager of VMAX Technologies, said: “The V1.5 package allows in-house scenarios to be easily created and installed like any other Windows type of program. This capability not only ensures ease of installation in an offshore environment, but also allows for versioning control and configuration management.

“All of the standard VMAX ROV training scenarios have been re-worked and expanded to systematically teach pilots how to perform complex tasks,” Lease continued. “Some of these scenarios include picking up delicate items from shipwrecks, installation of control pods using work skids and torque tools, installing steel-tube flying leads using a FLOT, using custom tooling to mate flanges, and using pumps to evacuate suction piles. The overall goal is to give the customer complete control of the simulation experience, help reduce risk, increase efficiency of operations and create an overall reduction in project costs. This new system allows users to train and learn at their own pace instead of requiring a dedicated 40-hour course.”

www.vmaxsimulator.com

April 16, 2009 at 8:11 pm 3 comments


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