High Performance Computing Glossary - F

Finite Element Analysis (FEA)

FEA is a numerical solution method to determine how an object reacts to various physical circumstances.

Finite Element Method (FEM)

The finite element method (FEM) is a numerical technique for finding approximate solutions to boundary value problems for partial differential equations. It is also referred to as finite element analysis (FEA). FEM subdivides a large problem into smaller, simpler, parts, called finite elements.

The simple equations that model these finite elements are then assembled into a larger system of equations that models the entire problem. FEM then uses variational methods from the calculus of variations to approximate a solution by minimizing an associated error function. FEM is best understood from its practical application, known as finite element analysis (FEA).


Theoretical flops indicate the peak performance of an individual compute node in an HPC cluster. They are a unit that indicates the performance capability of a computer and the number of floating point operations per second. The decisive factor is the number of floating point operations per second for each core. Some advice: if you want to compare costs using the project as a basis, you should take the number of TFlops per hour as the coefficient. The price per TFlop per hour is used to compare the performance of the servers with the costs.

Fluid Mechanics

Fluid mechanics is the branch of physics that studies the mechanics of fluids (liquids, gases, and plasmas) and the forces on them. Fluid mechanics has a wide range of applications, including mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, geophysics, astrophysics, and biology. Fluid mechanics can be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; and fluid dynamics, the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion.

Fluid mechanics, especially fluid dynamics, is an active field of research with many problems that are partly or wholly unsolved. Fluid mechanics can be mathematically complex, and can best be solved by numerical methods, typically using computers. A modern discipline, called computational fluid dynamics (CFD), is devoted to this approach to solving fluid mechanics problems.


FTP is a standard network protocol used to transfer computer files between a client and server on a computer network.


FTPS is an extension to the commonly used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols.