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Interview: Under Secretary Paul Dabbar on the COVID-19 HPC Consortium

The DOE laboratory complex has many core capabilities that can be applied to addressing the threats posed by COVID-19. “This public-private partnership includes the biggest players in advanced computing from government, industry, and academia. At launch, the consortium includes five DOE laboratories, industry leaders like IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Amazon, and preeminent U.S. universities like MIT, RPI, and UC San Diego. And within a week, we’ve already received more than a dozen requests from other organizations to join the consortium.”

How Your Computer Can Help Scientists Fight COVID-19

Today IBM announced that anyone in the world with a PC, laptop or Mac and an Internet connection could help scientists seek chemical compounds that might be effective against COVID-19. “The project, designed and led by Scripps Research, will be hosted on IBM’s World Community Grid. Volunteers download an app that works when their devices are otherwise idle or in light use. Operating unobtrusively in the background without slowing users’ systems, the app distributes computational assignments and returns completed calculations to researchers, all via the IBM cloud.”

2nd Gen AMD EPYC Processors Power New IBM Cloud Bare Metal Servers

Today, AMD announced that IBM Cloud is enhancing its global infrastructure with 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors to power its latest bare metal servers. Available now, these new bare metal servers are the first 2nd Gen AMD EPYC based offering from IBM Cloud and are focused on the computing power and performance required to accelerate modern workloads like data analytics, electronic design automation, artificial intelligence and virtualized and containerized workloads.

Podcast: A Look inside the El Capitan Supercomputer coming to LLNL

In this podcast, the Radio Free HPC team looks at some of the more interesting configuration aspects of the pending El Capitan exascale supercomputer coming to LLNL in 2023. “Dan talks about the briefing he received on the new Lawrence Livermore El Capitan system to be built by HPE/Cray. This new $600 million system will be fueled by the AMD Genoa processor coupled with AMD’s Instinct GPUs. Performance should come in at TWO 64-bit exaflops peak, which is very, very sporty.”

UKRI Awards ARCHER2 Supercomputer Services Contract

UKRI has awarded contracts to run elements of the next national supercomputer, ARCHER2, which will represent a significant step forward in capability for the UK’s science community. ARCHER2 is provided by UKRI, EPCC, Cray (an HPE company) and the University of Edinburgh. “ARCHER2 will be a Cray Shasta system with an estimated peak performance of 28 PFLOP/s. The machine will have 5,848 compute nodes, each with dual AMD EPYC Zen2 (Rome) 64 core CPUs at 2.2GHz, giving 748,544 cores in total and 1.57 PBytes of total system memory.”

NPR Podcast: Scientists Use Supercomputers To Search For Drugs To Combat COVID-19

In this segment from the NPR Here and Now program, Joe Palca talks to researchers using ORNL supercomputers to fight COVID-19. “Supercomputers have joined the race to find a drug that might help with COVID-19. Scientists are using computational techniques to see if any drugs already on the shelf might be effective against the disease. The two researchers performed simulations on Summit of more than 8,000 compounds to screen for those that are most likely to bind to the main “spike” protein of the coronavirus, rendering it unable to infect host cells.”

Intersect360 Research Lowers 2020 HPC Market Forecast for COVID-19

Intersect360 Research has released a new report guiding its clients that the market for HPC products and services will fall significantly short of its previous 2020 forecast, due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. The newly-revised forecast predicts the overall worldwide HPC market will be flat to down 12% in 2020. “Intersect360 Research had previously forecast the HPC market would grow 7.0% in 2020, year-over-year from 2019. This projected shortfall essentially wipes out that growth. This would end a streak of ten straight growth years for the HPC market.”

Exascale Computing Project Releases Milestone Report

The US Department of Energy’s Exascale Computing Project (ECP) has published a milestone report that summarizes the status of all thirty ECP Application Development (AD) subprojects at the end of fiscal year 2019. “This report contains not only an accurate snapshot of each subproject’s current status but also represents an unprecedentedly broad account of experiences porting large scientific applications to next-generation high-performance computing architectures.”

LLNL Researchers aid COVID-19 response in anti-viral research

Backed by five high performance computing (HPC) clusters and years of expertise in vaccine and countermeasure development, a COVID-19 response team of LLNL researchers from various disciplines has used modeling & simulation, along with machine learning, to identify about 20 initial, yet promising, antibody designs from a nearly infinite set of potentials and to examine millions of small molecules that could have anti-viral properties. The candidates will need to be synthesized and experimentally tested — which Lab researchers cautioned could take time — but progress is being made.

DARPA Grant to Foster Practical Quantum Computing with Rigetti

Today Rigetti Computing announced the company has been awarded up to $8.6 million from DARPA to develop a full-stack system with proven quantum advantage for solving real world problems. “We believe strongly in an integrated hardware and software approach, which is why we’re bringing together the scalable Rigetti chip architecture with the algorithm design and optimization techniques pioneered by the NASA-USRA team.”