IBM partners with White House to use supercomputers for coronavirus research

IBM White House supercomputers coronavirus research
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Tech giant IBM has partnered with the White House to increase access to supercomputers for groups conducting research on the coronavirus.

IBM partnered with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Energy to form the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, to provide increased access to supercomputers for coronavirus research.

The initiative, which IBM started just last week, is expected to take advantage of powerful high performance computing or “supercomputing” resources to dramatically boost the speed and capacity of coronavirus-related research.

Director of IBM Research Dario Gil said: “How can we find new treatments? Or ultimately vaccines and a cure?” “Those are the areas we’ll be looking at … We’re going to bring an unprecedented amount of computing power” to address coronavirus, he added.

Under the consortium, 16 supercomputing systems will be utilized by the system, including those from IBM, national laboratories, several universities, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. Researchers will be granted computing power via remote access.


The consortium, whose leadership board will be comprised of tech industry leaders and White House and Energy Department officials, plans to begin accepting research proposals through an online portal that will go live Sunday evening.

The use of supercomputers are expected to speed up research efforts as they can solve calculations and run experiments that, if done on traditional computing systems or by hand, would take months or years.

Gil pointed out: “We’re bringing together expertise … even across competitors, to work on this. We think it’s important to bring a sense of community and to bring science and capability against this goal. These systems are some of the most in demand scientific and computational systems that we have.”

He pointed out that the consortium will manage priorities for the system and ensure as much supercomputing power is allocated to coronavirus research as possible.