OpenPOWER Foundation Members Help Combat COVID-19

Published on Friday 27 March 2020


Hugh Blemings, Executive Director, OpenPOWER Foundation

First, the thoughts of all involved in OpenPOWER and the Foundation are with the broader community and their families in these trying and uncertain times. Please stay safe out there.

As the Executive Director of the OpenPOWER Foundation, I have had the pleasure for years of working with folks across the globe making technological advances throughout the ecosystem. We as an organization have never felt so proud to be part of the computing community as we are at this moment.

Companies and individuals, including OpenPOWER members, are stepping up to help the world fight COVID-19, partnering with governments and nonprofit organizations to make a difference.

Below are just some of many inspiring examples of how OpenPOWER Foundation members are collaborating together in a time of need. We’d love to learn more about other examples - please share anything we’ve missed in this recap in the comments below or on Twitter at @hughhalf or @openpowerorg. We’re of course also happy to continue this conversation in one of our upcoming Virtual Coffee Calls, which we’ll be using to connect, learn from each other and stay in touch.


In collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the U.S. Department of Energy and many others, IBM is helping launch the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, which will bring forth an unprecedented amount of computing power—16 systems with more than 330 petaflops, 775,000 CPU cores, 34,000 GPUs, and counting — to help researchers everywhere better understand COVID-19, its treatments and potential cures.

Two critically important applications of this supercomputing capacity could include new potential therapies as well as a possible vaccine and developing predictive models to assess how the disease is progressing. The consortium will collaborate on reviewing proposals from researchers worldwide, making supercomputing resources available to projects that can make the most immediate impact, and providing technical assistance to researchers utilizing the systems.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used Summit, the world’s most powerful supercomputer, to identify 77 small-molecule drug compounds that could warrant further study in the fight against the COVID-19 outbreak. More than 8,000 compounds were simulated to screen for those behind the main “spike” protein of the coronavirus.

Oak Ridge is also a leading member of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, contributing 200 petaflops and 4608 POWER9 nodes to the cause.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists are combining artificial intelligence, bioinformatics and supercomputing to help discover candidates for new antibodies and pharmaceutical drugs to combat COVID-19.

Lawrence Livermore - home to Sierra, the POWER-based second-most powerful supercomputer in the world - is also a member of the COVID-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, helping to contribute 31.7 petaflops and 7,001 nodes in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories.


Nimbix is collaborating with others in the technology industry to support researchers and healthcare workers with the computational horsepower needed in their fight to stop the pandemic. You are welcome to apply for complimentary compute resources from Nimbix if you’re a problem solver at the forefront of COVID-19 discovery efforts.


NVIDIA is providing a free 90-day license to Parabricks to any researcher in the worldwide effort to fight the coronavirus. Parabricks uses GPUs to accelerate the analysis of sequence data by as much as 50x. Given the unprecedented spread of the virus, the acceleration of sequencing time could have an enormous positive impact. Please apply to access NVIDIA Parabricks.

Exscalate4CoV (E4C)

OpenPOWER Foundation members CINECA, Barcelona Supercomputing Center and Jülich Supercomputing Centre are each participating in the Italian-based E4C consortium working on research projects to better and more quickly face pandemic situations such as coronavirus. All three will perform molecular dynamics simulations of viral proteins.


 coronavirus   covid-19   summit   supercomputer