The UK has joined the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, an international collaborative effort to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19 by using supercomputers.
The UK’s entry adds over 20 petaflops of high-performance computing (HPC) capability to the effort. While one supercomputer with eight petaflops can perform a million calculations per second per individual in the world, the HPC Consortium can do computing equivalent to 50 times that figure.
Supercomputers are already being used to run calculations in molecular modelling, bioinformatics and epidemiology, in the hunt for finding new molecules that could underpin COVID-19 cures or a vaccine.
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The UK’s effort in this exercise will be led by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), which will be assisted by the University of Edinburgh, Daresbury Laboratory, the Earlham Institute, the Met Office and the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
Three UK entities are already accessing supercomputer capabilities via the Consortium for their projects: chemistry start-up PostEra, AI start-up Kuono and a tie-up between IBM and Oxford University researchers working closely with the Hartree Centre.
The UK’s decision to join the consortium will enable its researchers to access leading advanced computers for expediting their research, as well as keep track of developments on this front, UK Science Minister Amanda Solloway said.
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Via : hpcwire