SYMMICTM Users Manual
Version 3.1.6
(TM) Trademark 2008 CapeSym, Inc.

CapeSym Table of Contents

Windows Installation

To install the software, run the SYMMIC.exe file. The installation wizard will display the terms of the license agreement and prompt for user input before the installation proceeds. The software will be installed to the folder “c:\Program Files\SYMMIC” by default. A different installation folder can be chosen, if desired.

Installation of the software requires assent to the software license agreement.
See the license.txt file in the program folder after installation for details.

One or more configurable templates will be installed along with the application, but in a separate folder. During the installation, the user is given the option of specifying where the templates will be stored. Templates may be stored in any folder for which a user has write permissions. Please select a familiar folder for storing the template, such as “C:\users\myname\SYMMIC”, so that results can be easily located later. The thermal solution and other files produced by the simulation are written to this folder.

System Requirements

OpenGL Settings

SYMMIC uses the OpenGL graphics library to display a template and its thermal analysis. The main window of SYMMIC is rendered with OpenGL, so the program will not run without OpenGL. OpenGL libraries are standard with Windows, but the display hardware must have a complete implementation of OpenGL in order for SYMMIC to function properly. If the SYMMIC program crashes when displaying a template, mesh, or plot, the most likely issue is faulty OpenGL display drivers. To update the computer to fully support OpenGL, follow the instructions in the readme.txt file in the program folder.

The quality of OpenGL graphics is determined by the OpenGL drivers, as well as the rendering quality, color resolution, and aspect ratio assumed by the software. To optimize the quality of the OpenGL display, use the dialog provided by the display hardware manufacturer. This dialog can often be accessed through the Windows Control Panel. For example on a Windows XP machine with an NVIDIA graphics card, the NVIDIA Control Panel can usually be found in the Windows Control Panel by way of the Start Menu.

>> Set the OpenGL settings to highest quality. <<

If the aspect ratio of the object does not look correct, use the Aspect Ratio dialog from the Settings menu (as described in a later section of the manual.) For more serious rendering problems, try adjusting 3D quality through the display adaptor control panel or try updating the display drivers. See the readme.txt for tips on updating or rolling back display drivers.

If the OpenGL display of a template looks like this:

then the OpenGL depth buffer does not have sufficient resolution to determine the depth of triangles for smooth rendering of the surface. A similar-looking artifact can occur when zooming in because the depth representation is too coarse for smooth rendering of small differences in depth. Potentially problematic limitations of the OpenGL implementation are reported to the console window when SYMMIC starts, so check this window for an OpenGL-related message.

A possible solution is increasing the color resolution properties of the display to 24-bit or higher. Then restart SYMMIC so it can detect any changes to the OpenGL settings. The settings that are used for OpenGL windows are referred to as the “pixel format”. These settings can be displayed in the console by selecting the Pixel format? option from the Settings > Window display submenu.

As a last resort, SYMMIC can be started in software-only graphics mode by holding the spacebar down while the application is starting. In software-only mode OpenGL is rendered by the Windows GDI rather than by the GPU (Graphical Processing Unit). Without hardware acceleration, graphics will update more slowly, but all issues related to hardware drivers should be circumvented. When in software-only rendering mode, the pixel format will include the setting: PDF_GENERIC_FORMAT.

MPI Installation and Use on Windows

In order to use the Message Passing Interface parallelism available in xSYMMIC, the mpiexec.exe MPI launcher must precede the xSYMMIC command at a command prompt. You will first need to download and install the Intel® MPI library for Windows:

Intel MPI Library:


You need domain administrator rights when you install the Intel MPI Library on Microsoft Windows. For a single user running MPI on a single machine, the user account will need administrator privileges and a non-blank password. A blank user password may lead to credentialing errors after installation.

The Intel MPI library includes the Hydra process manager which requires user credentials to authenticate on all computer systems and network drives involved in the computation. These credentials must be provided when the Hydra service is invoked through the mpiexec command:

> mpiexec -n 4 xSYMMIC FET.xml
User credentials needed to launch processes:
account (domain\user) [machine\username]:
password: ***********
Starting xSYMMIC with 4 MPI processes and 2 OpenMP threads each...

To run MPI as the current user, just hit return for the user account and enter the password only. After this, the correct user name and password should be registered with MPI and no further credential entry will be required for future runs. Note: The user account must have full access to all the machines and drives involved in the computation.

If you get a credential error when running mpiexec after registering, we recommend that you remove the registered credentials.

> mpiexec -remove

Account and password removed from the Registry.

and then try running mpiexec with the -delegate flag. This will instruct MPI to get the credentials for the current user from Windows without registration.

> mpiexec -delegate -n 4 xSYMMIC FET.xml
Starting xSYMMIC with 4 MPI processes and 2 OpenMP threads each...
FONT FACE="Courier New, monospace"> :

Additional information about user authorization is available on Intel's website:

If you encounter non-credential errors when running mpiexec, you may be able to get more information about what is going on by setting the debug environment variables on the command line.

> mpiexec -env I_MPI_DEBUG=6 -n 4 xSYMMIC FET.xml


> mpiexec -env I_MPI_HYDRA_DEBUG=on -n 4 xSYMMIC FET.xml

For more examples and further details about running mpiexec simulations, please see later sections of this manual, such as Choosing Parallel Computing Methods and mpiexec xSYMMIC.

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