New Mexico Small Business Assistance: Solving small business challenges through laboratory expertise SUBMIT request for assistance NMSBA Los Alamos National Laboratory Sandias National Laboratory

Client Highlights

LAMMPS Instrument
"Thanks to NMSBA, we have successfully demonstrated that the LAMPPS instrument can perform materials design at the atomic level."

Originally developed under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and industry partners Cray, Bristol Myers Squib, and DuPont, the Large-scale Atomic/Molecular Massively Parallel Simulator (LAMMPS) is a classical molecular dynamics code. Key applications for LAMMPS, which is distributed as open-source code by Sandia, include solid-state materials and soft matter.

To take advantage of advances in computational architecture, three companies joined forces to develop and commercialize a LAMMPS instrument: CreativeC, Materials Design, Inc., and Manufacturing Technologies, Inc. The LAMMPS instrument is a hybrid graphics processing unit (GPU)/central processing unit (CPU) computer system that is tailored to run materials science problems. It is similar to
having a supercomputer in your office. These companies then collaborated with scientist Saryu Fensin of Los Alamos National Laboratory through NMSBA.

Fensin performed various types of simulations including annealing and shock on copper-lead and copper using up to 50 million atoms. Through her simulations she determined that the breakeven point where GPUs outperformed conventional CPUs was 250,000-400,000 atoms, and showed significant speedups for
larger calculations.

With this knowledge, CreativeC is now leading an Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase 1 project to commercialize the LAMMPS instrument. Materials Design is starting to sell a version of the LAMMPS instrument, including its proprietary graphic user interface (GUI) for LAMMPS, and believes that as sales grow it will be able hire new employees to support the effort. Manufacturing Technologies will manufacture prototypes for testing and will subsequently manufacture the LAMMPS instrument for commercial sale.