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"Super-computing" unit ships for Intel Macs

updated 01:15 pm EST, Thu February 15, 2007

"Super-computing" unit

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What is it?

    How can something running off of a USB port speed up processing power? This seems like a scam product to me.

  1. Darwiniandude

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is possible

    They mention that it only helps specific algorithims. It's quite possible. Have you seen a device called a TC Electronics Powercore Firewire? This is an external firewire box that runs dedicated DSP audio plugins for profesional music users. The bandwith to shift audio to and from the box is one thing, but it can process it more effciently than earlier CPUs could, leaving 0% load on the systems host CPU. I'm guessing this box would be USB2. Interesting though.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not the same

    horvatic, this is not the same as increasing general processing power. A unit like this works by sending specific bioinformatics requests to the unit. It them processes them, and give the results. This does nothing to speedup the day-to-day operations of the computer.

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    transformers (more than..

    meets the eye!) "enabling users to transform ordinary Intel- or AMD-based workstations into "super-computing" units."

    should be: "enabling users to transform ordinary Intel- or AMD-based workstations into "super-computing" units" for some specific uses.

    but yeah. If I had to do those specific tasks, I'd consider 110 times current performance a serious upgrade.

  1. jimothy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    110 times faster!

    I suspect the specific task it makes faster is emptying your wallet.

  1. Gamoe

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wallet thinner...

    I also suspect that price is not low, considering the market they are targeting and how they won't reveal price on their website, providing only a quote option to see pricing.

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