COVID-19 Drives the Need for Supercomputing Resources in Research

July 6, 2020

While supercomputers have played a significant role in advancing life sciences research, the COVID-19 pandemic has crystalized just how important they are to dealing with this crisis. In an unprecedented move, the COVID-19 HPC Consortium has launched to provide access to the world’s most powerful high-performance computing resources in support of COVID-19 research.

The consortium is a public-private collaboration initiated by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to ensure critical COVID-19 research has the compute cycles it needs. Additionally, the effort has HPC centers, research teams, and the open-source community partnering to optimize performance for vital tools and applications to enable faster progress.

Bring Supercomputing Power to Bear on Research

Fighting COVID-19 will require extensive research in bioinformatics, epidemiology, and molecular modeling to understand the threat and develop strategies to address it.

Consortium members and affiliates manage a range of computing capabilities: from small clusters to some of the world’s largest supercomputers. They offer not only computational resources, but also software, services, and deep technical expertise to help COVID-19 researchers execute complex computational research programs. Collectively, the consortium offers access to 485 petaflops, 5 million CPUs, and 50,000 GPUs.

A large part of this collective power is delivered via supercomputers based on Intel technology. The group includes the world’s top-performing supercomputing centers, such as the Texas Advanced Computer Center (TACC) at The University of Texas, Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and more. Additionally, Germany’s Leibniz Supercomputing Centre and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia have invited coronavirus-related research teams to apply for time on their Intel processor-based HPC platforms.

An example that illustrates the growing compute requirements and how a suitably selected HPC solution can help is the BIH Digital Health Center of the Berlin Institute of Health (BIH) and its advanced COVID-19 cell sequencing research and how critical technology is in delivering timely results within the medical industry.

Samples of other work being carried out includes:

At the molecular level, research teams are building detailed digital models of the novel coronavirus and running physics-based simulations to explore how it works and what aspects of its molecular structure offer potential targets for vaccines and treatments. One such team at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) is constructing a complete model of the virus’s exterior shell—the part we’re trying to dissolve when we wash our hands for 20 seconds. They’re also planning to simulate the atom-to-atom interactions of the 200 million atoms that make up the shell.

At the macro level, scientists and policy analysts want to better understand how COVID-19 is spreading and what containment strategies can best minimize disease transmission and economic disruption. Epidemiological simulations empower them with data for developing science-based answers to these questions. In one of the largest COVID-19 related epidemiological studies, an 80-person team at the University of Virginia Biocomplexity Institute and partner institutions have built a detailed “digital twin” that models the entire United States population. They use this model to simulate how the U.S. would respond to possible pandemic-related actions to inform answers to the most pressing “what if” questions. The model runs each night at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and results are shared with federal and state agencies.

Underlying Technology is the Key to Success

Most of this COVID-19-specific research conducted at these consortium facilities was simply not possible just a few years ago. That is a testament to the incorporation of the latest technologies into the systems at those centers.

Specifically, new Intel technology has allowed the most powerful supercomputer systems to scale performance and increase workload capacity. For example, many of the most powerful systems are built with 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and featuring Intel Optane™ D.C. persistent memory. Such systems poised to accelerate scientific research and innovation.

In addition, Intel is providing HPC /AI and HLS subject matter experts and engineers to collaborate on COVID-19 code enhancements to benefit the community. Intel also will provide licenses for HPC software development tools for the research programs selected by the COVID-19 HPC Consortium. The integrated tool suites include Intel’s C++ and Fortran Compilers, performance libraries, and performance-analysis tools.

Taking advantage of Intel technologies, scientists are applying their expertise and passion for advancing the world’s understanding of the disease, its causes, and its impacts. Industry leaders are collaborating with government agencies and universities to support research initiatives that can help lead to cures and vaccines and provide a basis for data-informed policies.

In doing so, they’re providing a model of how to solve the biggest problems. They’re advancing their algorithms and software in ways that are crucial for understanding COVID-19—and can also help deliver faster, deeper insights into the science behind other global challenges and opportunities.

Keep up with Intel HPC developments >> https://www.hpcwire.com/solution_channel/intel/

Learn how scientists and researchers are investigating COVID-19 with powerful Intel technologies >> https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/corporate-responsibility/covid-19-supercomputing-article.html

Read more about COVID-19 research projects at the Texas Advanced Computing CenterArgonne National Laboratory, and Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center.

 

 

Subscribe to HPCwire's Weekly Update!

Be the most informed person in the room! Stay ahead of the tech trends with industy updates delivered to you every week!

Intel’s Optane/DAOS Solution Tops Latest IO500

August 11, 2020

Intel’s persistent memory technology, Optane, and its DAOS (Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage) stack continue to impress and gain market traction. Yesterday, Intel reported an Optane and DAOS-based system finishe Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Now Offers Virtual Tours

August 10, 2020

Summit, the second most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world, now has a virtual tour. The tour, implemented by 3D platform Matterport, allows users to virtually “walk” around the massive supercomputer Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer Simulations Examine Changes in Chesapeake Bay

August 8, 2020

The Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the continental United States, weaves its way south from Maryland, collecting waters from West Virginia, Delaware, DC, Pennsylvania and New York along the way. Like many major e Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Student Success from ‘Scratch’: CHPC’s Proof is in the Pudding

August 7, 2020

Happy Sithole, who directs the South African Centre for High Performance Computing (SA-CHPC), called the 13th annual CHPC National conference to order on December 1, 2019, at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Kempton Pa Read more…

By Elizabeth Leake

New GE Simulations on Summit to Advance Offshore Wind Power

August 6, 2020

The wind energy sector is a frequent user of high-power simulations, with researchers aiming to optimize wind flows and energy production from the massive turbines. Now, researchers at GE are preparing to undertake a lar Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

AWS Solution Channel

AWS announces the release of AWS ParallelCluster 2.8.0

AWS ParallelCluster is a fully supported and maintained open source cluster management tool that makes it easy for scientists, researchers, and IT administrators to deploy and manage High Performance Computing (HPC) clusters in the AWS cloud. Read more…

Intel® HPC + AI Pavilion

Supercomputing the Pandemic: Scientific Community Tackles COVID-19 from Multiple Perspectives

Since their inception, supercomputers have taken on the biggest, most complex, and most data-intensive computing challenges—from confirming Einstein’s theories about gravitational waves to predicting the impacts of climate change. Read more…

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic

August 5, 2020

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community and their demand for high compute power in low precision for Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt and Jack Dongarra

Intel’s Optane/DAOS Solution Tops Latest IO500

August 11, 2020

Intel’s persistent memory technology, Optane, and its DAOS (Distributed Asynchronous Object Storage) stack continue to impress and gain market traction. Yeste Read more…

By John Russell

Summit Now Offers Virtual Tours

August 10, 2020

Summit, the second most powerful publicly ranked supercomputer in the world, now has a virtual tour. The tour, implemented by 3D platform Matterport, allows use Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Research: A Survey of Numerical Methods Utilizing Mixed Precision Arithmetic

August 5, 2020

Within the past years, hardware vendors have started designing low precision special function units in response to the demand of the machine learning community Read more…

By Hartwig Anzt and Jack Dongarra

Implement Photonic Tensor Cores for Machine Learning?

August 5, 2020

Researchers from George Washington University have reported an approach for building photonic tensor cores that leverages phase change photonic memory to implem Read more…

By John Russell

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Machines, Connections, Data, and Especially People: OAC Acting Director Amy Friedlander Charts Office’s Blueprint for Innovation

August 3, 2020

The path to innovation in cyberinfrastructure (CI) will require continued focus on building HPC systems and secure connections between them, in addition to the Read more…

By Ken Chiacchia, Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center/XSEDE

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Supercomputer Modeling Tests How COVID-19 Spreads in Grocery Stores

April 8, 2020

In the COVID-19 era, many people are treating simple activities like getting gas or groceries with caution as they try to heed social distancing mandates and protect their own health. Still, significant uncertainty surrounds the relative risk of different activities, and conflicting information is prevalent. A team of Finnish researchers set out to address some of these uncertainties by... Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Supercomputer-Powered Research Uncovers Signs of ‘Bradykinin Storm’ That May Explain COVID-19 Symptoms

July 28, 2020

Doctors and medical researchers have struggled to pinpoint – let alone explain – the deluge of symptoms induced by COVID-19 infections in patients, and what Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Intel’s 7nm Slip Raises Questions About Ponte Vecchio GPU, Aurora Supercomputer

July 30, 2020

During its second-quarter earnings call, Intel announced a one-year delay of its 7nm process technology, which it says it will create an approximate six-month shift for its CPU product timing relative to prior expectations. The primary issue is a defect mode in the 7nm process that resulted in yield degradation... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Nvidia Said to Be Close on Arm Deal

August 3, 2020

GPU leader Nvidia Corp. is in talks to buy U.K. chip designer Arm from parent company Softbank, according to several reports over the weekend. If consummated Read more…

By George Leopold

Supercomputer Simulations Reveal the Fate of the Neanderthals

May 25, 2020

For hundreds of thousands of years, neanderthals roamed the planet, eventually (almost 50,000 years ago) giving way to homo sapiens, which quickly became the do Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

10nm, 7nm, 5nm…. Should the Chip Nanometer Metric Be Replaced?

June 1, 2020

The biggest cool factor in server chips is the nanometer. AMD beating Intel to a CPU built on a 7nm process node* – with 5nm and 3nm on the way – has been i Read more…

By Doug Black

Neocortex Will Be First-of-Its-Kind 800,000-Core AI Supercomputer

June 9, 2020

Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC - a joint research organization of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh) has won a $5 million award Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

HPE Keeps Cray Brand Promise, Reveals HPE Cray Supercomputing Line

August 4, 2020

The HPC community, ever-affectionate toward Cray and its eponymous founder, can breathe a (virtual) sigh of relief. The Cray brand will live on, encompassing th Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Leading Solution Providers

Contributors

Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU: Up to 2.5X the HPC, 20X the AI

May 14, 2020

Nvidia's first Ampere-based graphics card, the A100 GPU, packs a whopping 54 billion transistors on 826mm2 of silicon, making it the world's largest seven-nanom Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

Australian Researchers Break All-Time Internet Speed Record

May 26, 2020

If you’ve been stuck at home for the last few months, you’ve probably become more attuned to the quality (or lack thereof) of your internet connection. Even Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

15 Slides on Programming Aurora and Exascale Systems

May 7, 2020

Sometime in 2021, Aurora, the first planned U.S. exascale system, is scheduled to be fired up at Argonne National Laboratory. Cray (now HPE) and Intel are the k Read more…

By John Russell

‘Billion Molecules Against COVID-19’ Challenge to Launch with Massive Supercomputing Support

April 22, 2020

Around the world, supercomputing centers have spun up and opened their doors for COVID-19 research in what may be the most unified supercomputing effort in hist Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

Joliot-Curie Supercomputer Used to Build First Full, High-Fidelity Aircraft Engine Simulation

July 14, 2020

When industrial designers plan the design of a new element of a vehicle’s propulsion or exterior, they typically use fluid dynamics to optimize airflow and in Read more…

By Oliver Peckham

John Martinis Reportedly Leaves Google Quantum Effort

April 21, 2020

John Martinis, who led Google’s quantum computing effort since establishing its quantum hardware group in 2014, has left Google after being moved into an advi Read more…

By John Russell

$100B Plan Submitted for Massive Remake and Expansion of NSF

May 27, 2020

Legislation to reshape, expand - and rename - the National Science Foundation has been submitted in both the U.S. House and Senate. The proposal, which seems to Read more…

By John Russell

Google Cloud Debuts 16-GPU Ampere A100 Instances

July 7, 2020

On the heels of the Nvidia’s Ampere A100 GPU launch in May, Google Cloud is announcing alpha availability of the A100 “Accelerator Optimized” VM A2 instance family on Google Compute Engine. The instances are powered by the HGX A100 16-GPU platform, which combines two HGX A100 8-GPU baseboards using... Read more…

By Tiffany Trader

  • arrow
  • Click Here for More Headlines
  • arrow
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!
Share This