By Matthew Dublin
The Denmark-Texas connection of CLC Bio andConvey Computer has produced a new platform combining CLC's Genomics Workbench software with Convey's hybrid-core processor hardware.
The new combo package has already received a glowing recommendation from researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research (HZI) in Braunschweig, Germany where the CLC-Convey solution is being used for next-generation sequence data analysis.
“We have a number of sequencing projects running in parallel and need to process the data very quickly, but our space for computers is limited. Convey solves both problems by providing high performance, compact size, and easy integration with blades we already have,” says Robert Geffers, head of the HZI’s Genome Analytics group (GMAK). “Also, many of our analysis pipelines previously required using a command line and scripts that can be difficult for researchers and clinicians to work with. The CLC bio user interface eliminates these obstacles, putting an expansive suite of tools in the researchers’ hands. ”
Hybrid core computing is an exotic but very powerful method of cramming multiple hardware types into one server or blade that can, in the right circumstances — with appropriately coded software and a patient programmer — produce impressive results in terms of speed and productivity.
Convey's secret sauce is really in how they engineer disparate hardware types to "talk" to each other but their hardware includes common Intel processors with a coprocessor comprised of FPGAs. Given that FPGAs have consistently shown significant speed ups on commonly used genome alignment software over the years it's hardly surprising that CLC's software performs well on Convey's mixed hardware solution.