The most powerful supercomputer in the world is fighting against coronavirus
A few days ago, the Internet buzzed that each user can join the fight against a new coronavirus by simply giving away the unused capacity of their PCs to study protein compounds. Promptly after that, Oak Ridge Laboratory (ORNL) decided to take desperate measures and use the world's most powerful supercomputer, Summit, to identify low-molecular-weight drug compounds that may be useful for further research in the fight against SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus responsible for the outbreak of COVID-19 virus.
In the shortest possible period of time, Summit is expected to find a special protein whose composition will be suitable for binding with the spikes found inside the coronavirus. If successful, their complete blockage will lead to the elimination of the virus. To this day, Summit is considered the world’s leading supercomputer in terms of power and is the best one for this kind of operation.
Developed by IBM for the Oakridge National Laboratory, Summit was announced the world’s most powerful supercomputer in 2018, taking over this title from the Chinese for the first time in five years. It has a footprint equal to two tennis courts. The equipment racks are connected by 200 miles of fiber optic cable, using about 4,000 gallons of water for cooling.
Inside Summit, there are 220,800 CPU cores, 188,416,000 CUDA cores, 250 PB mixed NVRAM, and 9.2 PB of memory. Jeremy Smith, the ORNL Director, says that using Summit’s capabilities is absolutely necessary to conduct a simulation in the fastest mode possible. So far, no medicine has been found, but the researchers hope that their experiment will set a precedent for further breakthroughs in the field.
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