One element to the recent pandemic has been the number of organizations banding together to unite for specific research into SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. We are in an era now where masses of computing power can help direct physical research into potential vaccines, or help analyse interesting molecular active sites to spur further research. The COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium is one example of this, with 25 active products, 31 members, and approximately 418 PetaFLOPs of compute power – this is compared to the world #1 supercomputer, Summit, which has only around a third to a half of this processing power. The latest news is that AMD is setting up a unique COVID-19 fund to provide additional computing resources where they are needed most.

The fund will initially start with a $15 million USD donation of systems powered by EPYC processors and Radeon Instinct GPUs to some key research institutions. Those institutions interested in gaining access to this hardware will have to contact the fund ( with proposals, and it appears that AMD will provide systems on a meritorious basis. AMD is also set to contribute resources to the ‘Corona’ system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, separate to the fund, in order to double the peak system performance there. AMD is also donating $1m to a variety of other funds to help in efforts, in addition to medical equipment, employee donation matching, and prioritizing shipments of embedded processors for use in medical equipment such as ventilators.

Other tech companies with significant donations to COVID assistance include Intel who has offered one million protective items for healthcare, $6m for Coronavirus relief, $40m in learning initiatives, $10m to support partner and employee-led initiatives, and also opened up some of its IP to researchers and scientists. Xilinx has donated $1.1m, split between several funds including the WHO and closer-to-home funds. Qualcomm has donated an undisclosed amount to several funds, including supplying laptops and devices to schools and non-profits tackling the issue.

For compute, Alibaba is offering cloud services to COVID-19 research free of charge, while Amazon’s AWS, NVIDIA, and VMWare and is donating unused GPU compute time to help Folding@Home. The NVIDIA one is interesting, as it seems that they have put the Saturn V supercomputer, consisting of 125 DGX-1 nodes, onto the problem. The entire of the Folding@Home processing power is now north of 2.5 ExaFLOPs, despite only hitting the 1 ExaFLOP barrier just over two weeks ago. RIKEN’s new supercomputer, Fugaku, in Japan, was set to be fully installed by 2021, however the portion that is currently built is now being made available to researchers who can use the resources.

The COVID-19 High Performance Consortium is currently the biggest culmination of off-site compute resources for researchers that need time on supercomputers. XSEDE’s website has a guide for researchers to submit proposals for compute time.

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  • TennesseeTony - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    Anyone interested in putting your own computing resources to work helping fight these and other diseases should stop by the Software/Distributed Computing sub-forum and check out what is available. Both CPU and GPU resources can be utilized.
  • Deicidium369 - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    They have to get rid of dead inventory some how - at least this is for a good use.

    I have over 60 28c Xeons folding + 20 RTX6000 folding as well
  • Korguz - Thursday, April 16, 2020 - link

    i guess that means intel will be donating 2 or 3 times that in just their dead inventory of cpu's :-) :-)
  • Deicidium369 - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    What dead inventory, Jimmy? Intel sells 100% of what it can produce.
  • Korguz - Friday, April 17, 2020 - link

    so you say, care to post a link that proves it ? or will you just go back to insults and name calling, oh wait, you already did that
  • notb - Sunday, April 26, 2020 - link

    Inventory level is given in financial statement. It's stable.
    Revenue is up, margins are up.

    So based on that we can assume that Intel has absolutely no problem selling basically everything it makes.

    You may have a sense that Intel desktop CPUs are gathering dust in the retail channel and that's probably right. But it's a tiny part of their production. These CPUs can also be easily repackaged for OEMs if necessary. Scale is Intel's big strength.
  • blakeatwork - Saturday, April 18, 2020 - link

    As a reseller, we have been told our intel stock is on a 3-4 week ETA, and AMD is getting to about 2-3 weeks (for retail packaging). EOM build systems (HP, Lenovo, Dell etc) have all given us 4-6 week ETAs for new orders on systems not already in the channel.
  • mode_13h - Tuesday, April 21, 2020 - link

    Cool. Thanks for the info.

    In what country or broader geographic region are you based?
  • silencer12 - Saturday, April 25, 2020 - link

    You can also go to Foldinghome because they all do the same thing and go to the same place.
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