Convey to Partner With Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to Develop Next-Generation Computing Systems for Life and

Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:00am EDT

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Convey Computer announced today it will partner with Virginia
Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) to develop new reconfigurable computing
platforms for life and medical sciences. These new computing
architectures are needed to keep pace with the data deluge flooding
bioinformatics research.

    VBI, recently awarded a $1.3 million grant from the National Science
Foundation (NSF), intends to design and build high-performance scalable
clusters using the FPGA-based Convey systems and complementary

    "We are honored to be a technology partner with VBI on a project that
will deliver the next-generation of high-performance computing for
bioinformatics. Data-intensive computing demands new architectures -- you
simply can't use traditional HPC architectures to analyze the data deluge
flooding the bioinformatics market. You've got to do something
different," said Bruce Toal, co-founder and CEO of Convey Computer. "We
believe that the 'something different' is the hybrid-core platform
because our balanced architecture is much more power-and-performance
efficient than today's commodity servers."

    The explosion of data in biosciences and corresponding need to capture,
manage, analyze, and understand that data is demanding that HPC
technology keep pace with science by offering researchers reconfigurable
architectures, application-specific performance improvements, and
supercomputer-inspired memory subsystems.

    "From our end, data are even more rich and intensive and therefore more
difficult to analyze than they ever have been. We've sequenced the human
genome -- now we need to go beyond and discover what's waiting for us in
the post-genome era," explains Dr. Harold "Skip" Garner, executive
director of Virginia Bioinformatics Institute and professor in the
Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech. "For example, it is
predicted that by 2020 a complete genome sequencing will cost around $300
and be recommended by doctors as part of a full medical evaluation. The
data analysis problem will grow non-linearly. We will need new HPC
architectures, such as those engineered by Convey, to help get us there." 

    For the past year, VBI has deployed Convey hybrid-core computers on a
diverse suite of research projects including decision and policy
informatics, microsatellite analysis, and text data mining. Convey's
innovative architecture pairs classic Intel(R) x86 microprocessors with a
coprocessor comprised of FPGAs. Particular algorithms -- DNA sequence
alignment, for example -- are optimized and translated into code that's
loadable onto the FPGAs at runtime to accelerate the applications that
use them. Convey calls these accelerated algorithms "personalities."

    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. Convey brings decades of experience and intellectual assets
to performance problem solving. Its executive and design teams all come
from successful backgrounds of building computer companies, most notably
Convex Computer Corporation and Hewlett-Packard. Convey Computer
investors include Braemar Energy Ventures, CenterPoint Ventures, Intel
Capital, InterWest Partners, Rho Ventures, and Xilinx. More information
can be found at:

    About the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute

    The Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech (
is a premier bioinformatics, computational biology, and systems biology
research facility that uses transdisciplinary approaches to science,
combining information technology, biology, and medicine. These approaches
are used to interpret and apply vast amounts of biological data generated
from basic research to some of today's key challenges in the biomedical,
environmental, and agricultural sciences. With more than 240 highly
trained multidisciplinary, international personnel, research at the
institute involves collaboration in diverse disciplines such as
mathematics, computer science, biology, plant pathology, biochemistry,
systems biology, statistics, economics, synthetic biology, and medicine.
The large amounts of data generated by this approach are analyzed and
interpreted to create new knowledge that is disseminated to the world's
scientific, governmental, and wider communities.

    Convey Computer, the Convey logo, and Convey HC-1 and HC-1ex are
trademarks of Convey Computer Corporation in the U.S. and other
countries. Intel(R) and Intel(R) Xeon(R) are registered trademarks of
Intel Corporation in the U.S. and other countries. Xilinx is a registered
trademark of Xilinx, Inc.


For more information, contact 
Bob Masson

Mary Dudley 

Copyright 2011, Market Wire, All rights reserved.

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