HomeNewsLuminary Cloud's simulator uses GPUs to speed up product design

Luminary Cloud's simulator uses GPUs to speed up product design

Simulations are a vital step in physical product development. They allow engineers to create prototypes and understand how they may work in the true world by considering aspects equivalent to air resistance, air and water flows, and pressure and temperature distributions.

However, in keeping with Jason Lango, CEO of, today's technical simulators are inclined to be quite slow and difficult to scale Luminous cloud.

“Most engineers use legacy software running on local infrastructure, which ends up in a slow design workflow where each simulation takes days or perhaps weeks,” Lango told TechCrunch in an interview. “This decades-old legacy software has not been modernized to run within the cloud and on GPUs.”

Luminary, a startup constructing a platform to run engineering simulations, in contrast does depend on the cloud and GPUs, Lango says – particularly clusters of Nvidia GPUs. Luminary's simulation tools, utilized by customers including Puma golf brand Cobra Golf and air taxi startup Joby Aviation, allow engineers to check technical scenarios to supposedly optimize their product designs faster than with traditional software solutions.

“Luminary’s real-time engineering approach enables engineering teams to finish product simulation and evaluation cycles in minutes fairly than weeks,” said Lango. “(This) ends in faster time to market, faster insights, higher design results, higher team productivity and higher use of priceless physical prototyping funds.”


Luminary isn't precisely the first company to bring a cloud-based engineering simulation tool to market. Competitors include Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, PhysicsX, SimScale, Flexcompute and Ansys, which Synopsys recently acquired for $35 billion.

But one aspect that sets Luminary apart is its investment in AI, Lango says.

The platform offers an AI assistant, Lumi AI, which routinely handles tasks equivalent to mesh generation. Mesh generation—which divides an object or scene into small, discrete cells or elements called meshes—is a key component of the simulation process, Lango explains.

Photo credit: Luminous cloud

“Luminary is a simulation and analytics company, but in some unspecified time in the future we are going to grow to be a knowledge company,” he continued. “With AI and machine learning capabilities, (our) platform couldn’t only provide suggestions on how and where to make changes to enhance and optimize designs, but in addition learn find out how to higher arrange, solve and visualize simulations in order that Even inexperienced users can extract significant insights.”

Another potential differentiator is that, unlike a few of its competitors, Luminary doesn’t charge a license or subscription fee. Instead, customers pay for simulation and evaluation in dollars per minute of GPU usage.

“For example, a fast concept design simulation of an aircraft could take just a few minutes and price lower than $90,” Lango explains. “Customers running larger, high-fidelity simulations or large numbers of simulations to explore different design alternatives would earn volume for prepaid capability discounts.”

Origin and spread

Lango founded Luminary in 2019 with Juan Alonso, a Stanford aerospace professor. Before Luminary, Lango worked at Silicon Graphics, the maker of high-performance computer chips, in addition to NetApp and Cisco, while Alonso led NASA's Fundamental Aeronautics Program and led research in supersonic projects.

Lango met Alonso in the summertime of 2019 through Sutter Hill Ventures, the private equity firm where Lango was an entrepreneur in residence. Doug Mohr, Sutter Hill's managing director, invited Alonso – then considered one of his squash partners – to satisfy with Lango on the firm's Palo Alto offices, suspecting that Alonso and Lango can be strong business partners.

Lango and Alonso clicked. And over the course of several meetings, they refined the concept for the platform that became Luminary.

Sutter Hill clearly sees a lucrative future in Luminary, because the startup's customer base dwarfs 33 automotive, aerospace, defense and industrial equipment firms.

Luminary announced today that it has raised $15 million in equity and $100 million in debt from Sutter Hill, a tranche that the corporate plans to take a position in expanding its sales organization and product capabilities.

“Jason and Juan bring the facility of GPUs and the elasticity of the cloud to one of the crucial complex engineering functions,” Mikespeir, managing director at Sutter Hill, said in an emailed statement. “Luminary Cloud has the potential to (overhaul) the expensive and tedious product development process.”

San Francisco-based Luminary has a team of 73 employees and goals to extend that number to 80 by the tip of the yr.

“Luminary’s on-demand and prepaid capability consumption model is an awesome approach to achieve a win-win with forecasted volume and discounts,” said Lango. “Customers of any size can start with an on-demand relationship upfront for $0… (As a result), gIn general, our sales haven’t been impacted by the technology downturn, partially because our customer base consists of business research and development and engineering firms that proceed to take a position in the event of their very own industrial or consumer products.”


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