from precision medicine to sustainability

The Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC) Y lenovo have signed a collaboration agreement whereby the technology company will invest seven million dollars over three years in the supercomputing institution. But this agreement goes beyond economics since, following the priority lines of research in the European Commission, the idea is to investigate new technologies towards precision medicine, the creation of new supercomputers and sustainability.

Furthermore, the idea is also to bring these new supercomputing technologies into the exascale era and adopt open architecture to help scientists and researchers with smarter, more efficient and sustainable supercomputing platforms.

It should be noted that the recently acquired MareNostrum 5 supercomputer, which will be installed at BSC, will have a maximum performance of 314 PFlops or, what is the same, 314 billion calculations per second, more than 200 PB of storage and 400 PB active file.

This supercomputer will be specially designed to support European medical research in the design of new drugs, vaccine development, virus propagation simulations, as well as applications of artificial intelligence and big data analysis. The machine will also support traditional supercomputing applications such as climate research, engineering, materials science, and Earth science.

precision medicine

The agreement between the BSC and Lenovo aims to improve and accelerate precision medicine through the use of supercomputing. For this reason, a team from the BSC-CNS -led by the researcher Miquel Moretó- will study genomic analysis algorithms for the design of new accelerators that will be integrated into the HPC platforms of the future and that will serve to improve the efficiency of these highly sophisticated analyzes .

These HPCs are high-performance computing resources, which, together with the efficient analysis of large-scale genomic data, will be key to advancing precision medicine and the generation of new treatments for diseases such as cancer.

“The algorithms created and optimized by the BSC-CNS team will be incorporated into the GOAST tool developed by Lenovo in 2019 to optimize and improve genomic analysis,” they indicate in a statement. In addition, these analysis tools will be extended to other disciplines such as epigenetics, metagenomics, microbiology, virology, and other areas of life and health sciences.

new supercomputers

As has already been reported in Innovaspain, the BSC designs and develops chip technology in Europe, based on the open instruction set architecture -RISC-V, at the European Laboratory for Open Computing Architecture (LOCA). Lenovo’s involvement in this supercomputing project will help facilitate progress towards this priority goal for Europe. In the same context of LOCA, the BSC also recently announced the creation of a joint laboratory with INTEL to develop chips with European technology.

Sustainability

Finally, the joint research between BSC and Lenovo will seek to build supercomputers and ‘data centers’ more energy efficient, sustainable and with less cost. The group coordinated by the researcher Julita Corbalán will lead this challenge at the BSC-CNS. In fact, in 2016 his team developed, together with Lenovo, a new software (EAR, Energy Aware Runtime) for the optimization and energy efficiency of HPC tools, and together with the UPC launched the spin-off EAS (Energy Aware Solutions) to continue moving in this direction.

This new supercomputing research project will seek more powerful, flexible and robust systems for energy savings in these infrastructures. To this end, it will seek, on the one hand, “the creation of software for energy optimization and management, for which they will investigate the incorporation of new technologies developed by INTEL in the algorithms recently developed by the Corbalán team for this purpose; on the other, the other will seek to extend and monitor the control of energy expenditure to the entire infrastructure, not only to the calculation part of the machines, which will also favor energy savings”, they indicate.

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