NAMD, recipient of a 2002 Gordon Bell Award, a 2012 Sidney Fernbach Award, and a 2020 Gordon Bell Prize, is a parallel molecular dynamics code designed for high-performance simulation of large biomolecular systems. Based on Charm++ parallel objects, NAMD scales to hundreds of cores for typical simulations and beyond 500,000 cores for the largest simulations. NAMD uses the popular molecular graphics program VMD for simulation setup and trajectory analysis, but is also file-compatible with AMBER, CHARMM, and X-PLOR. NAMD is distributed free of charge with source code. You can build NAMD yourself or download binaries for a wide variety of platforms. Our tutorials show you how to use NAMD and VMD for biomolecular modeling.

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Breaking News

NAMD and VMD are part of the team winning the 2020 ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize for high performance computing-based COVID-19 research, for the paper AI-Driven Multiscale Simulations Illuminate Mechanisms of SARS-CoV-2 Spike Dynamics, presented at Supercomputing 2020, Nov 18, 2020. ACM Gordon Bell Special Prize

University of Illinois has established a oneAPI academic Center of Excellence, using oneAPI to bring its cross-architecture single programming model to NAMD in order to address exascale computing challenges of COVID-19.

NAMD is able to achieve 9x throughput with version 3.0alpha running on NVIDIA A100 GPUs. Details available on the NVIDIA developer blog.

The new NAMD reference paper has been published online. The paper provides an overview of the many features available in NAMD, its scalability on CPU and GPU platforms on system sizes of up to a billion atoms, and the recent performance enhancements for GPU accelerators.

Other Spotlights 

Spotlight: Molecular Motor Scooting along DNA (Sep 2006)

Molecular Motor Scooting along DNA

image size: 286.5KB
made with VMD
movie ( 2.5MB )

DNA with its famous double helix structure stores the genetic information of all life forms known. In order that this information is read, the double helix needs to be first unwound and separated into single helices or strands. This is achieved by cellular motor proteins called helicases that operate on already separated DNA strands. The helicases specialize in unwinding and separating the DNA double helix by scooting along one of DNA's single strands against the point where the two strands merge into the double helix; pushing against this point unwinds and separates the double helix further. The helicases are driven by energy stored in molecules of ATP which bind to the protein and get released in their so-called hydrolyzed, lower energy, form. Based on atomic resolution structures, researchers have studied now one of the smallest helicases known, PcrA, from the electronic to the functional level carrying out quantum mechanical/molecular mechanical simulations (as described in a first publication), as well as a combination of classical molecular dynamics simulation, using NAMD, and stochastic modeling calculations (described in a second publication and a third publication). This resulted in an overall explanation of how ATP's hydrolysis powers helicase activity which has been reported in a fourth publication. The researchers discovered that PcrA moves with two "hands" along single stranded DNA; when ATP binds, one "hand" moves along the DNA; when ADP and Pi (the hydrolysis products of ATP) unbind, the other "hand" moves; through a molecular "trick" both "hands" move in the same direction. Amazingly, the hand movement arises mainly from an increase in random mobility of the hands. i.e., is not enforced. Physicists refer to the underlying mechanism as a ratchet mechanism that was indeed long suspected to drive molecular motors. Interestingly, the helicase motor is very closely related to a wide class of other biological motors, for example the FoF1-ATP synthase (see Mar 2004 and Nov 2004 highlights). For more information visit our helicase research website.

Overview

Why NAMD? (in pictures)
How to Cite NAMD
Features and Capabilities
Performance Benchmarks
Publications and Citations
Credits and Development Team

Availability

Read the License
Download NAMD Binaries (also VMD)
Build from Source Code - Git access now available
Run at NCSA, SDSC, NICS, or Texas

Training

NAMD Developer Workshop in Urbana (August 19-20, 2019)
PRACE School on HPC for Life Sciences (June 10-13, 2019)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Pittsburgh (May 13-17, 2019)
Charm++ Workshop in Urbana (May 1-2, 2019)
Enhanced Sampling and Free-Energy Workshop (Sept 10-14, 2018)
NAMD Developer Workshop in Urbana (June 11-12, 2018)
"Hands-On" Workshop in Pittsburgh (May 21-25, 2018)
"Hands-On" QM/MM Simulation Workshop (April 5-7, 2018)
Older "Hands-On" Workshops

Support

Having Problems with NAMD?

NAMD Wiki (Recent Changes)
  
NAMD-L Mailing List (Archive)
  
Tutorial-L Mailing List (Archive)
  

Mailing List Issues for Yahoo.com Addresses

Announcements

NAMD 2.14 Bug Fixes (Apr 2022)
NAMD 2.14 Release (Aug 2020)
NAMD 2.14 New Features
NAMD 2.13 Release (Nov 2018)
NAMD 2.13 New Features
One-click NAMD/VMD in the cloud
QM/MM Interface to MOPAC and ORCA
QwikMD GUI Released in VMD 1.9.3
Previous Announcements

Documentation

NAMD 2.14 User's Guide
  
   (also 5.1M HTML or 5.5M PDF)
NAMD 2.14 Release Notes
Running Charm++ Programs (including NAMD)
Running GPU-Accelerated NAMD (from NVIDIA)
Introductory NAMD Tutorials
All NAMD & VMD Tutorials
  

Related Codes, Scripts, and Examples
NAMD Wiki (Recent Changes)
Older Documentation

News

NAMD and VMD share in COVID-19 Gordon Bell Special Prize
NAMD reference paper published online
Coronavirus Simulations by U. Delaware Team
Coronavirus Simulations on Frontera Supercomputer
Breakthrough Flu Simulations
Oak Ridge Exascale Readiness Program
Prepping for Next-Generation Cray at NERSC
Supercomputing HIV-1 Replication
How GPUs help in the fight against staph infections
Computational Microscope Gets Subatomic Resolution
Opening New Frontiers in the Battle Against HIV/AIDS
HIV Capsid Interacting with Environment
Assembling Life's Molecular Motor
Older News Items