Updated: Dec 9, 2020
Introduction to ABAQUS
SIMULIA is the FEA-based simulation brand from Dassault Systèmes, and it can now be accessed either through standalone products like ABAQUS or within the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. This article focuses on understanding the licensing for the standalone products within the portfolio (ABAQUS, fe-safe, TOSCA and Isight). If you are interested in accessing SIMULIA through the 3DEXPERIENCE, check out this link.
We’ll begin with ABAQUS and learning what tokens are, how they work and how many you might need. Then we’ll move on to the extended packaging and what added products that allows you access to.
The ABAQUS Unified FEA product suite offers powerful and complete solutions for both routine and sophisticated engineering problems covering a vast spectrum of industrial applications. Rather than carrying out simulation using niche simulation tools from different vendors, SIMULIA delivers a scalable suite of unified analysis products that allow all users, regardless of their simulation expertise or domain focus, to collaborate and seamlessly share simulation data and approved methods without loss of information fidelity. Click this link to learn more about ABAQUS.
Introduction to ‘Tokens’
When you ‘buy’ ABAQUS, you’re actually purchasing tokens that allow you access to use the software. Every time you open up an ABAQUS graphical user interface (or GUI) or launch a job using the solver, the software will ping the license server to make sure that you have enough tokens available and then hold those tokens until you’re done. Each action requires a different number (and sometimes type) of tokens and that’s where it can feel like it gets complicated. But in a nutshell, more GUI sessions, more jobs, and jobs with more cores require more tokens. This allows companies to scale their install for more engineers and more power without having to buy a whole new install each time - like you would do with, say, a video game. Hopefully, we can break it down so you can get the maximum efficiency from your install, while keeping costs to a reasonable minimum.
Traditional ABAQUS Tokens
ABAQUS tokens can be packaged in three different ways, Portfolio, Conventional and Extended, with the ‘Extended Packaging’ allowing access to a handful of added software included in the portfolio. To begin, we’ll look at the first two offerings, which allow access only to ABAQUS and its respective GUIs. Then we’ll learn how many of each of these tokens is required to access all the functionality that ABAQUS offers.
Portfolio Tokens (QPT) generally offer the greatest level of flexibility, since there is only one type and it is responsible for both the GUI and the solver. You can see in the table below the number of tokens you need to run multi-CPU jobs, and GUIs (ABAQUS CAE and ABAQUS Viewer) take an additional 5 (when they’re open). This type of licensing is great for customers that use alternative pre and post processing software (meaning all the tokens can be used to run analyses) or that are on a tight budget and don’t need the functionality of having GUIs open at the same time as they are running jobs.
Conventional Tokens are comprised of special tokens for GUIs (QAE and QVW) and separate tokens to actually run the analyses (QAT). This means that you’re never stuck having to close a GUI or stop building your next model in order to submit a job. It also makes sense if you have a server or cluster where all of your jobs are run. This way, there can be a pool of GUI licenses for your engineers to share and a separate pool of solver tokens.
The number of ABAQUS tokens required does not increase linearly in relation to the number of CPUs you want to run on. To understand how many tokens you’ll need to run jobs of different sizes, check out the table below. We’ve categorized the CPUs into typical denominations. Also note that we’ve added the extra tokens required for GPU acceleration, which takes the equivalent of one more core. Therefore, once you get past 12 cores, there is no additional token cost for GPU acceleration. However, the benefit this can bring to you is substantial. GPU acceleration is a powerful method to speed up analysis in certain situations and where you have a GPU available to the machine on which you are running. We’ll be sure to publish some benchmarking and advice on how best to use GPU acceleration soon.
* The formula to calculate number of tokens required to run on n CPUs is:
INT(5 x n^0.422).
Introduction to the Portfolio Products
ABAQUS Extended Tokens are a relatively new addition to the lineup and allow true flexibility when it comes to harnessing the power of the SIMULIA portfolio. With this option, access to fe-safe, TOSCA and Isight becomes possible with the very same tokens that you use to run ABAQUS. Below is a short introduction to the additional software packages, but please feel free to click the links and browse them in detail on our website to learn more.
fe-safe is a durability simulation software that pairs seamlessly with ABAQUS. This allows prediction of fatigue life to be made based on your already existing jobs, as well as directly interfacing with all other major FEA suites. With capability to deal with rubber, composites, cast iron and welds, fe-safe is truly industry-leading.
The TOSCA optimization suite offers fast and powerful structural and flow optimization based on FEA and CFD simulations. Combining rapid optimization solutions for both structures and fluid flow systems, TOSCA offers unparalleled capability to streamline the design process.
Isight allows for the automation of multiple cross-disciplinary models and their execution via distributed compute resources while chained simulation process flows traditionally require painstaking manual transition - slowing progress, reducing efficiency and, potentially, introducing errors.
For accessing ABAQUS, the extended tokens work much the same as conventional tokens, with one GUI token (QAX) required to open CAE/Viewer and QXT tokens required for the solver (in the numbers defined in the first table). However, with the extended tokens, you can also access the complimentary products discussed above. Similarly, each product GUI requires one QAX token and its solver/processor works on QXT tokens. The table below defines the tokens required to use each of the portfolio products individually. It should be noted that QXT tokens cannot be combined with QAT, even when using them for ABAQUS jobs.
What Do You Need?
Making a decision on token purchasing can be a daunting prospect. SIMULIA makes it possible to configure almost any combination of simulation capability - but with all the different options available, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable simulation partner before such a significant outlay.
Get in touch with Fidelis to schedule a customized demo of the available software and we can help you customize your token pool to meet all of your simulation needs.