Nvidia joins HPC effort in COVID-19 fight

April 07, 2020 // By Rich Pell
Nvidia joins HPC effort in COVID-19 fight
GPU maker Nvidia has announced that a task force of its computer scientists has joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing (HPC) Consortium, which brings together leaders from the U.S. government, industry, and academia to accelerate research to fight the coronavirus using the world’s most powerful HPC resources.

The COVID-19 HPC Consortium ’s objective is to accelerate development of effective methods to detect, contain, and treat the coronavirus. It is supporting researchers by providing access to over 30 supercomputing systems with over 400 petaflops of compute performance.

The Nvidia team, says the company, has expertise across a variety of critical domains, including AI, supercomputing, drug discovery, molecular dynamics, genomics, medical imaging, and data analytics.

“The COVID-19 HPC Consortium is the Apollo Program of our time,” says Ian Buck, vice president and general manager of Accelerated Computing at Nvidia. “Not a race to the moon, this is a race for humanity. The rocket ships are GPU supercomputers, and their fuel is scientific knowledge. Nvidia is going to help by making these rockets travel as fast as they can.”

“Achieving progress will ultimately require combining three essential ingredients – domain scientists, computer scientists, and high-performance computers," says Buck.

The Nvidia task force, says the company, will help the consortium by:

  • Applying AI : Nvidia brings expertise in AI to help the consortium’s scientific teams ingest and process more data, faster to deliver better insights in less time.
  • Accelerating science : Nvidia brings more than a decade of expertise in molecular biology, medical imaging, genomics, and computational fluid dynamics and visualization.
  • Optimizing computing at scale : Nvidia brings expertise in optimizing throughput of supercomputers. Optimizing performance is as important as adding more computing resources — a 20 percent optimization, for example, on a 330 petaflops system is equal to 60 petaflops, equivalent to the fourth fastest supercomputer in the world.

The company says it will also contribute the packaging of software for relevant AI and life-sciences software applications through Nvidia NGC , a hub for GPU-accelerated software. The company's COVID-19 research tools on NGC , all publicly available, are optimized for use on a broad range of GPU platforms, including supercomputers, Nvidia DGX systems, NGC-qualified servers, public cloud GPU instances, and

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