NVIDIA Gives COVID-19 Researchers Free Access to Parabricks

Genome-sequencing software for GPUs accelerates the journey to understanding the novel coronavirus.
by Kimberly Powell

When a crisis hits, we all pitch in with what we have. In response to the current pandemic, NVIDIA is sharing tools with researchers that can accelerate their race to understand the novel coronavirus and help inform a response.

Starting today, NVIDIA will provide a free 90-day license to Parabricks to any researcher in the worldwide effort to fight the novel coronavirus. Based on the well-known Genome Analysis Toolkit, Parabricks uses GPUs to accelerate by as much as 50x the analysis of sequence data.

We recognize this pandemic is evolving, so we’ll monitor the situation and extend the offer as needed.

If you have access to NVIDIA GPUs, fill out this form to request a Parabricks license.

For researchers working with Oxford Nanopore long-read data, a repository of GPU-accelerated tools is available on GitHub. In addition, the following applications already have NVIDIA GPU acceleration built in: Medaka, Racon, Raven, Reticulatus, Unicycler.

Researchers are sequencing both the novel coronavirus and the genomes of people afflicted with COVID-19 to understand, among other things, the spread of the disease and who is most affected. But analyzing genomic sequences takes time and computing muscle.

Accelerating science has long been part of NVIDIA’s core mission. The Parabricks team joined NVIDIA in December, providing the latest tool for that work. It can reduce the time for variant calling on a whole human genome from days to less than an hour on a single server.

Given the unprecedented spread of the pandemic, getting results in hours versus days could have an extraordinary impact on understanding the virus’s evolution and the development of vaccines.

NVIDIA is inviting our family of partners to join us in matching this urgent effort to assist the research community. We’re in discussions with cloud service providers and supercomputing centers to provide compute resources and access to Parabricks on their platforms.

Here are the first partners to offer their support:

  • Researchers and scientists using NVIDIA Parabricks on AWS may be eligible for AWS promotional credits through the AWS Diagnostic Development Initiative (DDI) Program.
  • Oracle will provide NGC Machine Images through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
  • Core Scientific, in partnership with NetApp, is providing free access to NVIDIA DGX systems and NetApp cloud-connected storage through ONTAP AI.
  • Tencent Cloud, one of the world’s largest cloud vendors, will provide free GPU instances up to 90 days for scientific research institutions participating in the global fight against the pandemic.
  • E2E Networks is offering NVIDIA 32GB V100 GPUs for free from its GPU Compute Cloud to any qualified researchers with NVIDIA’s free license to Parabricks.

We’ll update this blog with links to others who can provide cloud-based access to NVIDIA GPUs and this software as those sources become available.

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