Arm devices join distributed computing COVID-19 fight

July 29, 2020 //By Rich Pell
Arm devices join distributed computing COVID-19 fight
Mobile distributed computing company Neocortix has announced the release of Arm 64-bit support for two leading protein folding research projects that have been widely used by volunteers to support large-scale distributed COVID-19 vaccine research.

Both Folding@home and Rosetta@home are now available to users of the Neocortix Scalable Compute Instances, which work by running secure Arm Linux containers on the Neocortix worldwide network of Android mobile phones. With Arm 64-bit support, says the company, this means that billions of Arm-based Android mobile phones, Raspberry Pi, and Arm-based servers are now able to offer spare compute cycles to help solve the world's most urgent research problem - finding a vaccine to beat COVID-19.

"We built Folding@home and Rosetta@home for Arm-based devices to enable billions of high-performance mobile devices to work on the search for a COVID-19 vaccine," says Dr. Lloyd Watts, founder and CEO, Neocortix. "We saw an opportunity to leverage our Neocortix Cloud Services platform to help meet the distributed computing needs of the most pressing academic research workloads, at enormous scale."

The Neocortix Cloud Services Platform allows the unused capacity of large numbers of individual mobile phones to be harnessed into a single, unified computational engine. At scale – with potentially tens of millions of phone processors working in unison – Neocortix can deliver analytical performance that equals or surpasses the computing power accessible in today's most advanced supercomputing facilities. According to the company, extremely high performance was achieved across a wide range of Arm-based mobile, IoT, and Enterprise devices.

Paul Williamson, vice president and general manager, Client Line of Business at Arm says, "As we head towards a world of a trillion connected devices, developer innovation is helping to tackle some of the world's most complex challenges from the endpoint and edge to the cloud. Arm's collaboration with Neocortix means that Arm-based technology can contribute spare compute capacity to critical COVID-19 research and it's incredible to see Arm's global developer ecosystem come together to support this effort."

Folding@home has been working on folding the proteins of the novel coronavirus since February using the idle computing resources of traditional CPU-based computers. It has seen

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