Published in PC Hardware

Los Alamos sets new HPE supercomputer onto coronavirus

by on21 October 2020

Chicoma powered by shedloads of EPYC cores

Los Alamos Laboratory has completed the installation of a next-generation high performance computing platform, with aim to enhance its ongoing R&D efforts in support of the nation’s response to COVID-19.

Named Chicoma, the new platform is supported to show off Hewlett Packard Enterprise's new HPE Cray EX supercomputer architecture for solving complex scientific problems.

Los Alamos Associate Laboratory Director for Simulation and Computing Irene Qualters said that as extensive social and economic impacts from COVID-19 continue to grip the nation, Los Alamos scientists are actively engaged in several critical research efforts ranging from therapeutics design to epidemiological modelling.

"High Performance Computing is playing a critical role by allowing scientists to model the complex phenomena involved in viral evolution and propagation."

Chicoma is among the earliest deployments of the HPE Cray EX supercomputer, which offers a large-scale system architecture with a next-generation system software stack, direct-to-chip liquid cooling capabilities and a newly designed HPE Slingshot interconnect.

It features the AMD EPYC 7H12 processor and in total, more than 73,000 cores, and 300 TB of system memory. These new capabilities are at the forefront of technologies anticipated for the DOE’s Office of Science and National Nuclear Security Administration multi-lab Exascale Computing Initiative, and will provide scientists with substantially higher supercomputing performance than is currently available in other Los Alamos National Laboratory systems.

“Los Alamos National Laboratory has been working closely with researchers through the COVID-19 HPC Computing Consortium as well as with local researchers to harness the power of the Lab’s HPC compute capabilities to stop the spread of COVID-19. This newest HPC asset will be a significant addition to that endeavour”, said Qualters.

This new HPC system at Los Alamos will be quickly put to task on a range of COVID-19 research problems. Foremost of these will be epidemiological modeling of contact patterns and intervention scenarios, bioinformatics studies of SARS-CoV-2 gene development and impacts of COVID-19 on human 3D chromosome structure and function.

Dr. Karissa Sanbonmatsu, senior scientist in the Laboratory’s Theoretical Biology and Biophysics group said  Chicoma was an ideal platform for high performance computing efforts in chromosome simulation, RNA simulation including viruses, and chromosome-virus effects.

Chicoma’s enhanced capability for COVID-19 research was funded by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR) program, under a line item of the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Last modified on 21 October 2020
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Read more about: