How supercomputers help speed up coronavirus research

1641897753 How supercomputers help speed up coronavirus research

The new COVID-19 consortium, which has organizations from IBM, the White House, MIT, and others, is using supercomputers to speed up treatments and vaccines.

The newly created COVID-19 High-Performance Computing Consortium is working to harness the power of high-performance computing resources to significantly increase the speed and capacity of coronavirus search. The consortium, which was formed last week, includes several organizations, including IBM, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Department of Energy.

US Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsio said in a statement on Monday that the country is "coming together to fight against COVID-19, which means unlocking the full potential of our supercomputers at a level world to rapidly advance scientific research for medicines and vaccines. ”

The consortium will use "an unprecedented amount of computing power" to look at the discovery of new COVID-19 treatments and finally vaccines and medicine, Dario Gil, director of IBM Research, said in a statement.

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Researchers will gain remote access to computing power if their projects are approved by the consortium's board of directors, which includes technical industry leaders and officials from the White House and Department of Energy. The group has begun accepting research proposals through an online portal.

Supercomputers can solve calculations and run tests that would take months or years for traditional computer systems to complete. Traditional computer systems and data centers operate and perform calculations independently.

In contrast, high-performance computers can work together and share calculations back and forth to process information faster. Computers like this are also particularly good for conducting research in areas such as epidemiology and molecular modeling because the systems are a mirror of the interconnectedness that exists in nature, Gil said.

The consortium also connects researchers with leading computer scientists to ensure that the tools are used as efficiently and effectively as possible. The services and computing power will be provided free of charge to researchers.

The consortium is open to additional membership, and in addition to IBM, the partners who have already offered their facilities include: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft from industry; Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute from the academy; the National Science Foundation and NASA from the government; and Argonne, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Sandia national laboratories.

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The 16 systems represent over 330 petaflops, 775,000 cores central processing units, and 34,000 graphics processing units, “and counting,” which essentially help scientists deliver results in hours or days, compared to weeks or months, according to Gil.

In his news blog post, Gil said that high-performance computing systems will "allow researchers to run large numbers of computations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling."

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute President Shirley Ann Jackson told Nextgov Monday the school shares its own AiMOS, which is the most powerful supercomputer of any private university in America - and is rated at a stable 8 PetaFLOPS, or quadruple arithmetic 8 every second.

“It is this kind of power that is critical to designing a problem as complex as the threat from this coronavirus,” Jackson said.

Even before the consortium was launched, Jackson said that other organizations looking to collaborate on COVID-19 data analysis and molecular dynamics were already contacting Rensselaer, according to Nextgov.

The institute had also been actively working to attract researchers “who can model all aspects of this disease, including the distribution, reuse of drugs, and the development of new vaccines. , "Nextgov told Jackson.

And Gil said the IBM Summit supercomputer has already allowed researchers at Oak Ridge and the University of Tennessee National Laboratory to screen 8,000 fertilizers to determine those most likely to bind to the crown's main "spike" protein. virus detection, leaving it unable to become infected. host cells. Researchers were able to propose the 77 promising small-molecule drug fertilizers that can be experimentally tested, he said.

"This is the power of accelerating detection through computation," said Gil.


    See also

    COVID-19 - New coronavirus revolution - 2022-nCoV, WUHAN

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