IBM supercomputers to be used in the global fight against Covid-19

    IBM says the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium will deliver an unprecedented amount of computing power to assist researchers working on treatments and cures for coronavirus.
    By HT CORRESPONDENT
    | Updated on Mar 23 2020, 12:37 PM IST
    People wearing face masks take part in a motorcade as a public awareness campaign for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Hanoi on March 23, 2020.
    People wearing face masks take part in a motorcade as a public awareness campaign for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Hanoi on March 23, 2020. (AFP)
    People wearing face masks take part in a motorcade as a public awareness campaign for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Hanoi on March 23, 2020.
    People wearing face masks take part in a motorcade as a public awareness campaign for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Hanoi on March 23, 2020. (AFP)

    IBM on Sunday announced a partnership with the US' White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Energy to form a consortium to fight COVID-19 pandemic using supercomputers. Other technology giants such as Amazon, Google and Microsoft are also going to be associated with the consortium.

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    Under the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, IBM said it will offer as many as 16 systems with over 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, 34,000 GPUs, and more to help researchers under the coronavirus and develop treatments and possible cures.

    "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," wrote Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research in a post.

    IBM's supercomputer Summit has already been deployed to help researchers with the work on COVID-19. High-speed and fast supercomputers are already said to have helped researchers in identifying molecules that can be tested in trials. The supercomputers help researchers achieve results much faster which otherwise would have taken months or years if done on the traditional fast computers.

    According to CNN, IBM is offering services and computing power to researchers for free. The company will also provide remote access to researchers whose projects have been okayed by the consortium.

    "What began just days ago with one conversation with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has solidified quickly into an unprecedented effort that can make a real difference. In a time of uncertainty, I want to offer this promise: IBM will continue to explore everything in our power to use our technology and expertise to drive meaningful progress in this global fight," added Gil.

    The technology firms are on the forefront of the fight against coronavirus. Google has launched a full-fledged informational website on the pandemic. Microsoft has introduced an interactive tracker powered by Bing as well as expanded Teams and Office to more users. Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp have begun acting against misinformation spreading through their platforms.

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    First Published Date: 23 Mar, 11:40 AM IST
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