COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium

National digital research infrastructure plays a vital role in helping scientists to understand and develop new treatments for COVID-19

High Performance Computing (HPC) resources provide an essential tool that can be used to perform simulations and calculations, often involving vast datasets, to tackle a diverse variety of complex problems. 

The power of HPC enables researchers to work at scales that would not be achievable using conventional resources, having applications across a wide range of different disciplines.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) are leading a consortium of HPC facilities across the UK to support global efforts to tackle the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:

  • ARCHER (Advanced Research Computing High-End Resource), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) supercomputing facility at the University of Edinburgh
  • DiRAC (Distributed Research using Advanced Computing), the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) supercomputing facilities at the University of Cambridge, University of Leicester, the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University, and the University of Edinburgh

The consortium also includes a range of EPSRC Tier-2 HPC facilities from across the UK. Collectively, these facilities are providing an additional 20 Petaflops of computing resources to the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a global collection of academic and industry supercomputing resources that span from small clusters to some of the largest supercomputers in the world.

Other consortium members include organisations such as IBM, the U.S. Department of Energy, Microsoft and NASA, who together provide more than 480 Petaflops of computing resources.

For perspective, eight petaflops of computing power can perform a million calculations per person in the world per second. Together, the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium can achieve 60 times that.

The consortium is currently researching more than 60 active COVID-19 projects, ranging from bioinformatics to epidemiological and molecular modelling research.

To find out more about the work of the consortium, please visit https://covid19-hpc-consortium.org/

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