In an effort to combat the coronavirus outbreak, the U.S. government, IBM, Energy Department National Laboratories, Amazon, Microsoft and more, are granting researchers access to a total of 16 supercomputers. This comes as an initiative from the White House, which started a partnership between the various parties and launched the COVID-19 HPC Consortium.
The consortium includes a host of supercomputers, the most impressive of which is Summit, the world's most powerful supercomputer at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This supercomputer was already fighting COVID-19 a couple of weeks ago too. Other parties include NASA, Google and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
“Decisive action from America’s science and technology enterprise is critical to prevent, detect, treat and develop solutions to COVID-19. The White House will continue to be a strong partner in this all hands-on-deck approach." said Michael Kratsios, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, in a statement.
"We thank each institution for voluntarily lending its expertise and innovation to this collaborative effort and call on the United States research community to put artificial intelligence technologies to work in answering key scientific questions about the novel Coronavirus,”
A full list of all the supercomputers participating in the consortium is available here. Many list specifications, but a few parties have not listed just how much computing power is available.
In the hopes of finding a cure, governments and companies aren't the only ones donating compute power to this cause. Last weekend, so many volunteers were running Folding@Home that it became more powerful than seven of the world's top supercomputers combined. At the time Folding@Home had a combined power of 470 PetaFLOPS and was thus still beating the power made available by the COVID-19 HPC Consortium.
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At the time Folding@Home had a combined power of 470 PetaFLOPS and was thus still beating the power made available by the COVID-19 HPC Consortium.That implies all those systems were getting utilized for folding, particularly for coronavirus-related tasks, though from the sound it only a relatively small portion of them were getting used for that at any given time, and many were sitting idle waiting for work to be done, since the back-end wasn't able to supply that many systems with data.