The Heidelberg DKFZ facility currently processes 5 terabytes of data per day conducting NGS analysis. Prior to the Convey installation, processing massive amounts of data in a timely fashion was a challenge for DKFZ—both from a resource and time perspective.
One of the most time-consuming steps of analyzing a patient’s genome involves using the Burrows-Wheeler Aligner (BWA)–the preferred algorithm for fast, accurate alignment to a reference genome of the short reads typical of high-throughput sequencers (HTS). BWA was taking up to 80% of CPU time in the data center’s pipeline.
“Accelerating this portion of our pipeline allows us to get answers substantially faster,” noted Brors. “In addition, saving processing time reduces power consumption and cooling–which is a huge advantage in saving money and a step forward in our commitment to pursue green technologies.”
This DKFZ effort is part of the International Cancer Genome Consortium (ICGC) to study tumors from more than fifty types of cancers. Their goal is to develop better ways of diagnosing, treating and preventing many types of cancer. The scientists at DKFZ are currently participating in three different ICGC cancer research projects: pediatric brain tumors, malignant lymphoma, and prostate cancer. Their research focuses on mapping how cancer changes the genomes of cells and causes mutations within normal biological pathways.
About Convey Computer Corporation
Based in Richardson, Texas, Convey Computer breaks power, performance and programmability barriers with the world’s first hybrid-core computer—a system that marries the low cost and simple programming model of a commodity system with the performance of a customized hardware architecture. Using the Convey hybrid-core systems, customers worldwide in industries such as life sciences, research, advanced analytics, and government/defense are enjoying increased application performance and lower costs of own
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