Nvidia offers Covid-19 researchers free access to its genome-sequencing software

Nvidia offers Covid-19 researchers free access to its genome-sequencing software
Photo Credit: Pixabay
20 Mar, 2020

Global chipmaker and artificial intelligence (AI) giant Nvidia said its genome-sequencing software Parabricks can be accessed for free by researchers fighting the Covid-19 virus.

The Santa Clara, California-based company said in a statement that Parabricks will be available for 90 days at no cost.

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Researchers are in the process of sequencing both the Covid-19 virus and the genomes of people who have contracted it to understand the spread of the disease. But analysing genomic sequences takes time and computing muscle. Using Parabricks, a process that takes two days can be accomplished in just an hour on a single server, the company said.

Parabricks uses graphics processing units (GPUs) to accelerate the analysis of sequence data by as much as 50 times, the company said, adding that speed would have an immense impact on the development of vaccines for the virus.

Parabricks, which was acquired by Nvidia late last year, has developed a technology with which an entire human genome can be sequenced in less than an hour, the company said.

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"Nvidia has asked our family of partners to join us in this urgent effort to assist the research community. We’re in discussions with cloud service providers and supercomputing centres to provide resources and access to Parabricks on their platforms,” the company said.

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