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AMD Rolls Out $15 Million in Computer Hardware to Aid Virus Response

April 17, 2020
Lisa Su, AMD's chief executive, said that it is supplying high-performance processors to customers with slight delays due to the coronavirus pandemic. AMD is also imposing a range of measures to protect the health and safety of its employees, she said.

AMD is escalating its efforts to address the coronavirus pandemic as it works to protect its employees and understand the potential impact of the outbreak on its global supply chain.

AMD said on Wednesday that it plans to roll out high-performance computer hardware to researchers trying to understand and combat the lethal virus. The Silicon Valley company pledged to donate $15 million of computer systems based on its EPYC CPUs and Radeon Instinct GPUs for data centers. AMD, which signaled it could invest more funding in the future, said it would partner with systems manufacturers to roll out pre-integrated nodes.

AMD has also entered into a partnership including Google, Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and the Department of Energy to ease access to supercomputers and other masses of computer hardware that can be used to speed the development of vaccines to address the the virus and forecast its spread. It is also supplying Radeon Instinct GPUs based on its latest Vega architecture to upgrade the speed of the Energy Department's Corona supercomputer. 

Chief executive officer Lisa Su said the Santa Clara, California-based company is supplying high-performance processors to its customers with "minor" delays. She added that AMD is closely monitoring the status of the virus and assessing the potential impact on its contract manufacturers and other partners. It is also implementing measures to protect the health and safety of its employees, with most of its personnel currently working remotely.

"AMD maintains a robust supply chain," Su said in a letter to customers and partners.

AMD has rolled out more than $1 million to charities and foundations on the front lines fighting the virus and rolling out assistance to vulnerable populations. The company has also donated $1 million to date to match charitable contributions by its employees. The vendor is also accelerating the supply of embedded processors used by its customers in ventilators and respirators, which are in short supply due to the global surge in infections.

Others in the semiconductor industry are boosting investments to combat the virus. Intel said it would spend $50 million on customers and partners using artificial intelligence and supercomputing tools to speed development of vaccines and other drugs. It is also opening its intellectual property portfolio to virus researchers. Qualcomm, Applied Materials, Lam Research, Nvidia, and many others have also rolled out assistance to address the crisis.

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