Today Convey Computer introduced the Convey Burrows-Wheeler Aligner (BWA) personality, which “dramatically accelerates genome reference mapping and enables researchers and clinicians to more rapidly and cost-effectively identify variants.”
Since Convey systems use programmable FPGAs in tandem with x86 processors, they can be reconfigured with “personalities” to accelerate specific applications. BWA is based on the Burrows-Wheeler Transform (BWT) function and joins Convey’s expanding bioinformatics suite of personalities.
Besides raw processing power, Convey’s highly parallel memory subsystem allows application-specific logic to concurrently access 8,192 individual words in memory, significantly increasing effective memory bandwidth over cache-based memory systems. Performance of many bioinformatics algorithms is constrained on traditional architectures by access to memory. The Convey BWA personality is faster and more efficient than other reference mapping algorithms because of Convey’s enhanced memory access.
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