Xilinx has announced that the SGI RASC Altix system coupled with Xilinx VIrtex-4 FPGAs can accelerate Blast-n bioinformatics application to over 900 times faster than a traditional cluster. The benchmark ran a standard Blast-n query to match 25 nucleotide base pairs against 600,000 queries. Normally requiring over 3 weeks in computational time [68 node Opteron cluster], the benchmark ran for only 33 minutes.
The performance of Xilinx accelerated bioinformatics is truly astonishing and the price-performance of our RC100 based Blast-n appliance is extending the utility of this tool to many more customers and applications,” said Bill Mannel, SGI director of marketing for servers. “We are seeing tremendous interest from commercial customers anxious to exploit this technology to competitive advantage.”
The system running the benchmark consisted of an Altix 4700 with 64 Itanium2 processors and 35 RC100 RASC blades. The system fits into a single rack cabinet and is driven by a Blast-n software stack from Mitrionics.
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