Chinese Researchers Tap GPU Supercomputer for World's First Simulation of Complete H1N1 Virus

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tesla GPUs to Help Chinese Researchers Improve Drugs, Prevent Epidemics

SANTA CLARA, CA -- NVIDIA today announced that Chinese researchers achieved a major breakthrough in the race to battle influenza by using NVIDIA® Tesla™ GPUs to create the world's first computer simulation of a whole H1N1 influenza virus at the atomic level.

Researchers at the Institute of Process Engineering of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-IPE) are using molecular-dynamics simulations as a "computational microscope" to peer into the atomic structure of the H1N1 virus1. Using the Mole-8.5 GPU-accelerated supercomputer, which includes more than 2,200 NVIDIA Tesla GPUs, researchers were able to simulate the whole H1N1 influenza virus, enabling them to verify current theoretical and experimental understandings of the virus.

"The Mole-8.5 GPU supercomputer is enabling us to perform scientific research that simply was not possible before," said Dr. Ying Ren, assistant professor at CAS-IPE. "This research is an important step in developing more effective ways to control epidemics and create anti-viral drugs."

Studying bacteria and viruses in laboratory experiments is difficult because reactions are often too fast and delicate to capture. And computer simulations of these systems had previously been beyond the reach of supercomputers, due to the complexity of simulating billions of particles with the right environmental conditions.

The CAS-IPE researchers made the simulation breakthrough by developing a molecular dynamics simulation application that takes advantage of GPU acceleration2. It was run on the Mole-8.5 GPU supercomputer, which is comprised of 288 server nodes. The system was able to simulate 770 picoseconds per day with an integration time step of 1 femtosecond for 300 million atoms or radicals1.

Among other examples of the broad range of scientific research underway in China using high performance computing systems incorporating GPUs are:

  • Turbulent flow simulation -- Simulating turbulent flows is central to studying everything from the formation of hurricanes to the mixing process in the chemical industry. This work was accomplished by researchers at Peking University using the Tianhe-1A GPU supercomputer at theTianjin Supercomputing Center.
  • Weather modeling -- Researchers at National University of Defense Technology simulated a long-wave radiation physics model, called RRTM_LW, from the WRF weather forecasting model on the Tianhe-1A system. The GPU-accelerated model achieved a doubling of performance, which enables forecasters to model weather at a finer level of detail or resolution.
  • Fusion energy simulations -- Physicists from the University of California at Irvine, working within the framework of the international collaboration of ITER project for fusion energy research, are using the Tianhe-1A GPU supercomputer to accelerate the Gyrokinetic Torodial Code software for fusion energy simulations.

For more information about the Institute of Process Engineering of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS-IPE), please visit: http://english.ipe.cas.cn/. For more information on NVIDIA Tesla GPUs for high performance computing, please go here.

Tags / Keywords:
NVIDIA, CUDA, GPU, GPU computing, supercomputing, parallel computing, GPGPU, high performance computing, HPC, developers, research, scientific computing, Tianhe, H1N1

1. J. Xu, X. Wang, X. He, Y. Ren, W. Ge.J. Li, Application of the Mole-8.5 supercomputer: Probing the whole influenza virion at the atomic level. Chinese Science Bulletin, 2011. 56: p. 2114-2118.

2. J. Xu, Y. Ren, W. Ge, X. Yu, X. Yang.J. Li, Molecular dynamics simulation of macromolecules using graphics processing unit. Molecular Simulation, 2010. 36: p. 1131-1140.

About NVIDIA
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) awakened the world to computer graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Today, its processors power a broad range of products from smart phones to supercomputers. NVIDIA's mobile processors are used in cell phones, tablets and auto infotainment systems. PC gamers rely on GPUs to enjoy spectacularly immersive worlds. Professionals use them to create visual effects in movies and design everything from golf clubs to jumbo jets. And researchers utilize GPUs to advance the frontiers of science with high-performance computing. The company holds more than 2,100 patents worldwide, including ones covering ideas essential to modern computing. For more information, see www.nvidia.com.

Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to statements as to: the effects, benefits and impact of GPUs and parallel computing on scientific research; and the effects of the company's patents on modern computing are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: global economic conditions; our reliance on third parties to manufacture, assemble, package and test our products; the impact of technological development and competition; development of new products and technologies or enhancements to our existing product and technologies; market acceptance of our products or our partners products; design, manufacturing or software defects; changes in consumer preferences or demands; changes in industry standards and interfaces; unexpected loss of performance of our products or technologies when integrated into systems; as well as other factors detailed from time to time in the reports NVIDIA files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, including its Form 10-Q for the fiscal period ended July 31, 2011. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on the company's website and are available from NVIDIA without charge. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, NVIDIA disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.

© 2011 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA, the NVIDIA logo and Tesla are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice.

About NVIDIA
NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) is the AI computing company. Its invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefined modern computer graphics and revolutionized parallel computing. More recently, GPU deep learning ignited modern AI — the next era of computing — with the GPU acting as the brain of computers, robots and self-driving cars that can perceive and understand the world. More information at http://nvidianews.nvidia.com/. 
© 2016 NVIDIA Corporation. All rights reserved. NVIDIA and the NVIDIA logo are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of NVIDIA Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of the respective companies with which they are associated. Features, pricing, availability, and specifications are subject to change without notice.

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