The big picture: Tech companies, academics and government agencies from around the world are increasingly making their supercomputing resources available to researchers working on treatments for Covid-19. The hope is that by using a wealth of processing power, researchers can expedite the discovery of drugs to combat the virus.

Nvidia on Monday announced it has joined the Covid-19 High Performance Computing Consortium, a collective of industry, academia and federal agencies accelerating methods to detect, contain and treat the latest coronavirus.

Nvidia said its task force of computer scientists joining the fight have expertise across a range of disciplines including drug discover, molecular dynamics, genomics, medical imaging, AI, supercomputing and data analysis. Specifically, the GPU maker will lend a hand by applying its AI to help the consortium process data faster and optimize the group's supercomputers for higher throughput.

The group is being led by Ian Buck, vice president and general manager of Nvidia's accelerated computing division.

Buck said the Covid-19 Consortium is the Apollo Program of our time. "Not a race to the moon, this is a race for humanity. The rocket ships are GPU supercomputers, and their fuel is scientific knowledge," Buck said. "Nvidia is going to help by making these rockets travel as fast as they can," he added.

The Covid-19 Consortium provides access to portions of more than 30 supercomputing systems offering over 402 petaflops of performance (that's 105,334 nodes, 3,539,044 CPU cores and 41,286 GPUs and counting).

Quantum computer maker D-Wave last month said it was offering immediate and free access to its quantum computers for anyone working on Covid-19 responses.

Existing consortium members include IBM, Amazon, AMD, Google, Hewlett Packard and Microsoft from the tech sector. A full list of partners can be found over on the consortium website.

Masthead credit: CKA