Computational Biology is an important part of Coronavirus research. There are large, established distributed computing projects specifically working on COVID-19 research: Folding@Home and Rosetta@Home are two of the oldest and best-established projects. But both of those projects have not historically been made available to run on mobile devices with Arm processors.
We are actively working to provide Arm support for these Coronavirus distributed computing applications. This will make them available on the Neocortix Scalable Compute platform, and also on the BOINC platform running on Arm devices, and on other Arm-based platforms such as Raspberry Pi, MiniNodes and Packet.com.
With the recent COVID-19 outbreak, Rosetta@Home has been used to predict the structure of proteins important to the disease as well as to produce new, stable mini-proteins to be used as potential therapeutics and diagnostics, like the one displayed below which is bound to part of the COVID-19 spike protein:
From March 17-31, 2020, Neocortix worked with teams from Rosetta@Home, Arm, MiniNodes, Linaro, and Packet.com to create, verify and test a Linux-on-Arm build of Rosetta. On March 31, the Rosetta team published the new Linux-on-Arm build.
Since then, the group effort has shifted to deployment onto Arm devices. On April 8, Neocortix completed its upgrades for temperature and battery monitoring, and is now ramping up deployment onto its existing network of 3000 mobile devices, soon to be followed by up to 42,000 volunteer devices from our PhonePaycheck waiting list.
As of April 16, the broader group has over 793 Arm devices contributing to the Rosetta project, with over 6.6M total credits earned. By May 6, Neocortix had ramped up to 613 simultaneous devices, and reached the Top 1% of Rosetta contributors with 2,303,633 total credits earned and a Recent Average Credit score of 102,963.
The spike of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (shown below) is a major target for designing therapeutics to combat the COVID-19 disease.
On April 1, 2020, the Folding@Home team began its engagement with our extended team to create a Linux-on-Arm build of Folding@Home. Neocortix immediately completed a Linux-on-Arm build of Gromacs, which is an important component of Folding@Home.
On April 16, Neocortix completed a build of FaHCore with the new Gromacs 2020.1 engine, for both x86_64 and aarch64 targets, with SIMD optimization (AVX2_256 and ARM_NEON_ASIMD, respectively). On April 20, Neocortix completed a build of FaHClient. With these milestones reached, the project is now transfered to the Folding@Home team for review, verification, testing and publication.
For a detailed description of the project, please see our blog: "Multi-Company Collaboration For Coronavirus Research On Arm Devices".
We are grateful for support and collaboration from the following companies and organizations: