“Genomics is perhaps the clearest example where progress is accelerated by access to the right HPC resource and stymied when those resources are missing,” stated Dr. George Vacek, Director of Convey Computer’s Life Sciences business unit. “Heterogeneous computing has become a necessity in life sciences, where the data production from next-generation sequencing instruments is increasing much more quickly than traditional computing resources can handle.”
The combination of heterogeneous computing and cloud computing is an ideal solution for the high performance computing demands in life sciences. Budget constraints are limiting access to necessary compute resources at the very time when the explosive growth in life sciences data makes access increasingly desirable.
“HPC-oriented clouds supporting the latest heterogeneous architectures can provide even small research groups with affordable access to diverse computer resources,” said Steve Hebert, cofounder of Nimbix. “Our goal through this promotion is to give genomics researchers access to world-class HPC resources and to show them that heterogeneous cloud computing is extremely powerful, yet simple and affordable.”
Nimbix installed their first Convey system in 2011 when the two companies partnered to deliver Convey’s unique hybrid-core architecture and bioinformatics personalities as a cloud-based HPC solution. Since then, users of the Nimbix Accelerated Compute Cloud have achieved greater than 50x speed up of sequence searches using Convey’s hybrid-core system. Users have also seen impressive acceleration, inclusive of data transfer times, for mapping and de novo assembly—both in terms of improving runtimes and increasing throughput.
Convey’s hybrid-core architecture pairs classic Intel® x86 microprocessors with a coprocessor comprised of FPGAs. Particular algorithms—DNA sequence assembly, for example—are optimized and translated into code that’s loadable onto the FPGAs
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