updated 01:15 pm EST, Thu February 15, 2007
CLC bio today unveiled the CLC Bioinformatics Cell, enabling users to transform ordinary Intel- or AMD-based workstations into "super-computing" units. The company claims tasks that previously took two hours can be computed in one minute without hassle. "This product can potentially help pharma and biotech corporations move faster through the phases of drug discovery, and thereby help the pharma industry to develop products faster to meet the healthcare challenges of today," said Nordic director at Intel Jörgen Forsberg. The CLC Bioinformatics Cell is designed to accelerate bioinformatics algorithms such as Smith-Waterman and ClustalW up to 110 times faster than modern desktop systems. The device works by plugging into the USB port of any Intel- or AMD-based computer running Mac OS X, Linux, or Microsoft Windows (pricing is dependent upon the number of CPUs and cores that it can work on in parallel).
The speed-up is achieved through the use of SIMD technology, according to the company, enabling a scientist to purchase a single unit for a laptop or desktop system to see significant increases in processing power.