Groq Accelerates COVID Drug Discovery by 333x for Argonne National Laboratory

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Nov. 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Groq, a compute accelerator innovator for artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, today announced their technology has accelerated COVID drug discovery compute speeds 333x faster compared to legacy GPU solutions at Argonne National Laboratory.

Experience the interactive Multichannel News Release here:

In early 2020, Argonne and Groq worked alongside a global group of scientists to fight the SARS-CoV-2 virus by enabling accelerated drug discovery. Using AI initiatives enabled by GroqChip™ and the associated software suite, GroqWare™, Argonne scientists created machine learning models of the virus and used them to screen a database including billions of candidate drug molecules. These simulations enabled them to identify high-potential lead compounds for clinical therapy trials. 

“Using the Groq platform, we accelerated our efforts to identify promising COVID-19 drug candidates,” said Argonne computational scientist Tom Brettin. “The system’s AI capabilities enabled us to achieve significantly more inferences a second, reducing the time needed for each search from days to minutes.”

In response Jonathan Ross, CEO of Groq commented, “There are some problems you just can’t solve with legacy architecture. We love working with customers like Argonne who are motivated and willing to apply new tools to solve difficult problems, and proud to have contributed, even if just a little, to the COVID response.”

To accelerate, Argonne leveraged GroqChip, a high-performance chip with 750Tops @900 MHz and 80 terabytes/sec of memory bandwidth. Groq’s unique TSP architecture allows far more models to fit within its large on-chip memory, and Groq TruePoint™ improves performance by maintaining accuracy at lower FP16 precision. 

“Data processing and compute performance are key to achieving high performance for inference tasks for scientific applications. Groq technology provides an optimized end-to-end system needed to glean faster insights,” said Venkat Vishwanath, lead of the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility’s data science team. 

Groq accelerates development from the scientist to the production engineer, improving developer velocity. At Argonne, this meant empowering a globally distributed group of researchers to efficiently collaborate on updating the virus model and near-instantly screening the 4 billion drugs in their database for efficacy against the virus. This has led to the accelerated discovery of strong drug combination candidates to combat the pandemic. 

Read more about Groq’s work with Argonne here and for more information, contact [email protected]

Groq Accelerates COVID Drug Discovery by 333x for Argonne National Laboratory


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