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White House teams up with IBM for coronavirus effort

(Image credit: Image Credit: Majestic B / Shutterstock)

IBM is teaming up with the US government to lend a helping hand to researchers working to curb the coronavirus outbreak.

The technology giant has announced the formation of the Covid-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, together with the US Department of Energy and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The consortium will aggregate computing capabilities from some of the world's most powerful supercomputers and allocate resources to researchers looking to better understand the new virus currently wreaking havoc across the globe.

According to Dr. Dario Gil, Director of IBM Research, researchers will have access to 16 supercomputers in total, offering a combined 330 petaflops of processing power. A total of 775,000 CPU cores and 34,000 GPU cores will be put to use.

The consortium claims these high-performance computing systems will allow researchers to cut testing time in epidemiology, bioinformatics, and molecular modelling from weeks, months or years to mere hours or days.

Two “critically important“ applications include developing predictive models to assess how the disease is progressing and modelling potential vaccines.

Other members of the consortium include Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL), Argonne National Lab (ANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Sandia National Laboratory (SNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the National Science Foundation (NSF), NASA, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), Amazon, and Google.