The lab has two platforms dedicated to digital developments:

  • Nessy (NEtwork Solver SYstem)
  • SDT (Structural Dynamics Toolbox) / OpenFem

Nessy (NEtwork Solver SYstem) :

Involved persons:

Gérard Coffignal, Philippe Lorong, Lounes Illoul, Christophe Gengembre


Nessy offers a development framework for solving large scale non-linear problems through the use of coarse-grained parallel computing. It is intended to integrate and test new methods of numerical modelling and simulation within the laboratory. A first version of nessy was released in 1996, but older developments are part of it. Among the applications implemented in Nessy, CNEM (Constrained Natural Element Method), Macroscopic Machining and specific finite Elements can be mentioned.

Nessy currently runs on Mac OS X (PowerPC and MacIntel), Linux and other Unix devices. Nessy now contains more than 4000 Fortran 77 routines and some parts are written in C or C++.

We recently encapsulated part of Nessy in a Python object application. This encapsulation allows the input data to be graphically configured and the results of Nessy instances executed in parallel and/or in series to be automatically analyzed.

SDTools and openFEM :

Involved persons:

Etiennes Balmes, Jean-Philippe Bianchi, Guillaume Vermot des Roches


The team coming from SDTools d'Etiennes Balmes company joined our laboraroty in September 2008. It bases its development on the Matlab environment for which it offers 2 software programs in evolution:

  • OpenFEM (SDTools/INRIA): software freely distributed under the GNU LGPL license. It is a generalist multi-physical finite element code.
  • SDT (SDTools): Commercial toolbox offering tools for experimental modal analysis and finite element modeling for vibration problems, and solvers optimized for large sizes.

Other digital simulation activities at PIMM:

In addition, the following calculation codes are used in our laboratory:

  • COMSOL Multiphysics
  • ABAQUS 6.7 to 6.9 (finite elements calculation)
  • Materials Studio (molecular dynamics simulations)

Fortran is sometimes used to enrich Abaqus.

Work stations dedicated to digital calculation:

  • DELL work station, Intel Xeon ES 2630 v2 at 2,60 GHz (2 processors of 6 cores/12 threads, cache 15 MB per proc.), 128 Go RAM, 1.8TB.
  • i7 server with a Tesla GPU card on Linux: at the end of 2009, the LMSP acquired a tower with an Intel i7 processor (4 cores at 2,67 GHz) and one Tesla GPU with 250 cores at 1,1 GHz.
  • HP tower on Linux with 2 Intel Xeon processors at 3,2 GHz. Cache memory per processor: 2MB; RAM: 8GB.
  • Transtec tower on Linux, bi-processor, Opteron 4 core, 16 GB RAM.
  • Dell tower on Linux with one Intel Xeon W3530 2.80 at 3.06 GHz (Turbo) (4 cores, 8 threads). Cache memory: 8 MB, RAM: 6 GB