AMD announces second round of COVID-19 research funding

Written by Jennifer Allen

September 15, 2020 | 15:00

Tags: #covid-19 #covid-19-hpc-fund #funding #pandemic #research

Companies: #amd

Remember earlier in the year when AMD announced recipients of HPC systems as part of its HPC Fund for COVID-19 research? AMD has just announced a second round of high-performance technology contributions for the same fight. 

As we're still stuck amidst the global pandemic, AMD is now expanding its plans. It will offer high-end computing systems or access to Penguin-On-Demand (POD) cloud-based clusters powered by 2nd Gen AMD EPYC and AMD Radeon Instinct processors to 21 institutions and research facilities that are working on COVID-19 research. 

As AMD points out, that's 12 petaflops of total supercomputing capacity now awarded by them with the combined compute capacity donated through the fund ranking amongst the fastest supercomputers in the world. 

In a press release, Mark Papermaster, executive vice president and chief technology officer at AMD explained, "AMD is proud to be working with leading global research institutions to bring the power of high-performance computing technology to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic." He continued, "these donations of AMD EPYC and Radeon Instinct processors will help researchers not only deepen their understanding of COVID-19, but also help improve our ability to respond to future potential threats to global health."

Originally established to provide computing resources to accelerate medical research on COVID-19 and other diseases, AMD has contributed donations of $15 million worth of high-performance computing systems as well as its technical resources to nearly double the peak system of the "Corona" system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in a bid to provide additional power for molecular modelling relating to the research. 

This second round is expected to be operational from the beginning of Q4 this year and will be used for numerous different pandemic-related workloads. These include genome research, vaccine development, transmission science, as well as modelling. Essentially, AMD wants to use the money and technology to figure out every step of the way when it comes to COVID-19 from how people contract it to why some people are worse afflicted than others to finally how to eradicate it. 

Besides AMD's contributions, Gigabyte is also supplying its G291-Z20 compute nodes for the Penguin Computing clusters, built around a single, 48-core AMD EPYC 7642 processor paired with eight Radeon Instinct MI50 GPU accelerators. 

In the past, AMD's COVID-19 HPC fund has donated systems or computing capacity to esteemed facilities such as Cambridge University, Stanford School of Medicine, and Harvard Children's Hospital. More information on where the second round of funding will help should follow soon. 


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