New Convey Hybrid-Core Server: 400x Faster on Bioinformatics

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This week Convey Computer announced the HC-1ex, a new hybrid-core computer that offers increased performance, functionality, and energy efficiency over previous systems.

To offset the rising energy costs in HPC data centers, customers are looking to accelerate applications using energy efficient computing solutions. The inherent architecture of FPGA provides a high degree of parallelism to accelerate applications while consuming less power compared to competing solutions. We’re impressed with the innovative technology in the new Convey HC-1ex,” said Harvey Steele Jr., vice president, segment marketing and business operations, Xilinx, Inc. “By combining an off-the-shelf x86 server with our powerful and efficient Virtex-6 FPGAs, Convey has come up with a platform that accelerates software applications on FPGAs giving users extreme performance, extended functionality, and exceptional energy efficiency.”

So where does this kind of hybrid box fit? The HC-1ex achieves more than two times the performance of the HC-1 running the Smith-Waterman algorithm, which widely used in bioinformatics. For the HC-1ex, a highly-optimized version of the Smith-Waterman algorithm is 401 times faster than what is typically achieved on an x86 processor. That’s a difference worth noting. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on your application workload.

Convey will be showing their new machine at SC10 Booth number 3947.