We certainly live in interesting times. Most stores are closed, toilet paper is worth its weight in gold, and handshakes are out of fashion (you should probably avoid fist-bumping too). If there is a silver lining to the Covid-19 situation, it's seeing technology companies step up with relief efforts, as Intel an Razer have done. Intel has now announced it will donate up to $6 million to support coronavirus relief efforts in places where it has a significant presence.
At minimum, Intel plans to spend to $4 million in certain areas in the US and around the world, through the Intel Foundation. However, it will also match donations by Intel employees—including both regular and full-time workers, and retired workers in the US—up to an additional $2 million.
"The $4 million donation will be distributed to community foundations and organizations that are focused on food security, shelter, medical equipment, and small-business support," Intel said. "For the matching donations, Intel has identified strategic organizations unique to each major Intel site. Beneficiaries include food banks, school districts and children’s hospitals—all groups focused on helping local communities manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic."
Intel had previously announced plans to donate 1 million gloves, masks, and other equipment to healthcare workers as they face a shortage of supplies, plus $1 million to the International Red Cross. This latest announcement is in addition to that.
Intel can certainly afford to be generous, even though it is under no obligation to do so. The chip maker raked in $20.2 billion in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2019, for a quarterly profit of $6.9 billion. Its full-year revenue for 2019 hit $72 billion, for a $21 million profit.
Related, peripheral maker Razer recently announced it was diverting some of its manufacturing lines to making masks, with plans to donate up to 1 million of them.
"Over the past few days, our designers and engineers have been working 24-hour shifts to convert some of our existing manufacturing lines to produce surgical masks so that we can donate them to countries around the world," Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said.
In addition, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg announced that he and his wife Priscilla Chan are contributing $25 million to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in an effort to "accelerate the development of treatments for Covid-19."
If you'd like to help, one thing you can do is join PC Gamer's Folding@home team. The distributed computing project is sending out Covid-19 workloads, with users being able to essentially donate idle CPU and GPU cycles to related research.
The project has drawn a massive amount of interest lately, and is now equivalent to an exascale supercomputer. That collective performance is more than 5x higher than the theoretical peak performance of ORNL's Summit, the fastest supercomputer in the world. Or put another way, the current output is equivalent to over 150,000 GeForce RTX 2060 graphics cards.