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COVID-19 Vaccine Makers AstraZeneca, GSK To Get First Access To Nvidia's 'Cambridge-1' Supercomputer

Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA) said Monday it is working to build the United Kingdom’s most powerful supercomputer, which it will provide to healthcare researchers working on COVID-19.

· 10/06/2020 01:56

Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ:NVDA) said Monday it is working to build the United Kingdom’s most powerful supercomputer, which it will provide to healthcare researchers working on COVID-19.

What Happened: The “Cambridge-1” is expected to come online by the end of 2020 and is expected to be ranked 29 among the TOP500 list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, Nvidia said in a statement.

The supercomputer is powered by 80 NVIDIA DGX A100 systems connected by a proprietary networking system. The Santa Clara, California-based company said it will invest $51.7 million in Cambridge-1.

AstraZeneca Plc (NYSE:AZN) and GlaxoSmithKline Plc (NASDAQ:GSK) will be the first pharmaceutical companies to be able to utilize the Cambridge-1.

"Tackling the world's most pressing challenges in healthcare requires massively powerful computing resources to harness the capabilities of AI," said Jensen Huang, CEO of Nvidia.

Dr. Hal Barron, Chief Scientific Officer at GlaxoSmithKline said hailed the fact that advanced technologies will now be available to help the U.K.'s outstanding scientists and described AI and machine learning as a “new microscope.”

“The use of big data, supercomputing and artificial intelligence have the potential to transform research and development,” said James Weatherall, Head of Data Science and AI, AstraZeneca.

Why It Matters: Top pharmaceutical companies and others plan to use the new supercomputer for solo and joint projects including those related to vaccines, Nvidia said.

Nvidia said that it will help researchers to take advantage of NVIDIA Clara Discovery, a suite of tools optimized for NVIDIA DGX, to develop AI applications for large computational tasks needed in healthcare.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), Moderna Inc (NASDAQ:MRNA), and Novavax, Inc (NASDAQ:NVAX) are some of the drugmakers conducting late-stage human trials of COVID-19 vaccines.

Last month, Nvidia announced it was buying chipmaker Arm from SoftBank Group Corp (OTC:SFTBY) for $40 billion.

The deal is under scrutiny from the United Kingdom government, which is assessing its current and future impact.

Price Action: Nvidia shares closed nearly 4.4% higher at $545.70 on Monday and fell 0.35% in the after-hours session.

Photo courtesy of Nvidia