• LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing cluster. Credit: LLNL
     LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing cluster. Credit: LLNL

LLNL Supercomputer Gets Upgrade to Help Fight COVID-19

April 21, 2020
Posted by Julianne Simpson
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Agreement between LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD will help nearly double the machine’s peak performance.


Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and its industry partners are committed to applying the nation’s most powerful supercomputers and knowledge in computational modeling and data science to fighting the deadly disease.

To assist in this effort, LLNL, Penguin Computing and AMD have reached an agreement to upgrade the lab’s unclassified, Penguin Computing-built Corona high performance computing (HPC) cluster with an in-kind contribution of cutting-edge AMD Instinct accelerators, which is expected to nearly double the peak performance of the machine.

Under the agreement, AMD will supply its Radeon Instinct MI50 accelerators for the Corona system. The upgraded system will be used by the COVID-19 HPC Consortium, a nationwide public-private partnership that is providing free computing time and resources to scientists around the country engaged in the fight against COVID-19, and by LLNL researchers, who are working on discovering potential antibodies and anti-viral compounds for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

LLNL computer scientists and computational biologists also are using the Corona system to examine millions of small molecules that could have anti-viral properties with SARS-CoV-2. Increasing the speed and performance of the Corona system—named for the total solar eclipse of 2017—will allow researchers to perform additional, highly detailed molecular dynamics calculations to better evaluate possible SARS-CoV-2 target sites for small molecule inhibitors that could prevent infection or treat COVID-19.

For more information on LLNL’s COVID-19 research, visit their website.

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