IBM has announced the launch of a consortium to provide coronavirus researchers with the super computing power they need.
As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, researchers are desperately trying to develop vaccinations and medication to help slow the spread. A big part of that research involves using supercomputers to analyze the data and perform calculations and experiments that would take months with traditional computing resources.
“Now, in collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy and many others, IBM is helping launch the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will bring forth an unprecedented amount of computing power—16 systems with more than 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, 34,000 GPUs, and counting — to help researchers everywhere better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures,” writes Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research.
“How can supercomputers help us fight this virus? These high-performance computing systems allow researchers to run very large numbers of calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling. These experiments would take years to complete if worked by hand, or months if handled on slower, traditional computing platforms.”
The consortium includes “IBM, Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), Argonne National Lab (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), and multiple leading technology companies.”
According to Gil, IBM and the consortium will begin evaluating proposals from around the world to best allocate the computing resources to those researchers who can use it the most.
This is another example of tech companies using their vast resources to help researchers in the fight against the pandemic, and IBM is to be commended for its role.