Covid-19: IBM Summit and the White House hand in hand

The White House has found itself a powerful ally in the fight against the current epidemic of coronavirus. IBM has announced that it has teamed up with the executive to provide the U.S. authorities with computing power to help researchers better understand and stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The American giant has announced that it will join the White House Bureau of Science and Technology Policy and the United States Department of Energy to launch a high-performance computing consortium dedicated to the fight against Covid-19.

This will include 16 supercomputers, such as the IBM Summit hosted by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, for a total of more than 330 petaflops of computing power, 775,000 processor cores and 34,000 GPUs, a said IBM director of research Dario Gil.

In detail, it should be noted that this consortium will pool the supercomputers of the American laboratories of the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, the Argonne National Lab, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Sandia National Laboratory, the Los Alamos National Laboratory , the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and other technology companies, as reported by IBM management.

A project open to researchers around the world

“These high performance computing systems will allow researchers to perform a very large number of calculations in epidemiology, bioinformatics and molecular modeling”, explains the director of research at IBM, for whom the contribution of supercomputers could A game changer and a glimpse of hope in the fight against the Covid-19. “These experiments would take years to realize if they were done by hand, or months if they were performed on slower traditional computer platforms,” ​​added the latter.

The project set up by IBM should not only concern the United States. In addition to providing assistance to American researchers, the consortium set up by IBM will also evaluate proposals from around the world. “Now we need to scale up, and IBM will work with our consortium partners to evaluate the proposals from researchers around the world and give projects that can have the most immediate impact access to this superinformatics capacity,” a so says IBM’s director of research.

Recall that the Summit supercomputer is already engaged in the race in search of a remedy for the Covid-19. Through work to date, researchers have identified 77 small molecule drug compounds that, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, may warrant further study in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which is responsible for the Covid-19 epidemic.


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