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Evolutionary Bioinformatics

Embedded-Based Graphics Processing Unit Cluster Platform for Multiple Sequence Alignments

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Evolutionary Bioinformatics 2017:13 1176934317724764

Review

Published on 08 Aug 2017

DOI: 10.1177/1176934317724764


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Abstract

High-end graphics processing units (GPUs), such as NVIDIA Tesla/Fermi/Kepler series cards with thousands of cores per chip, are widely applied to high-performance computing fields in a decade. These desktop GPU cards should be installed in personal computers/servers with desktop CPUs, and the cost and power consumption of constructing a GPU cluster platform are very high. In recent years, NVIDIA releases an embedded board, called Jetson Tegra K1 (TK1), which contains 4 ARM Cortex-A15 CPUs and 192 Compute Unified Device Architecture cores (belong to Kepler GPUs). Jetson Tegra K1 has several advantages, such as the low cost, low power consumption, and high applicability, and it has been applied into several specific applications. In our previous work, a bioinformatics platform with a single TK1 (STK platform) was constructed, and this previous work is also used to prove that the Web and mobile services can be implemented in the STK platform with a good cost-performance ratio by comparing a STK platform with the desktop CPU and GPU. In this work, an embedded-based GPU cluster platform will be constructed with multiple TK1s (MTK platform). Complex system installation and setup are necessary procedures at first. Then, 2 job assignment modes are designed for the MTK platform to provide services for users. Finally, ClustalW v2.0.11 and ClustalWtk will be ported to the MTK platform. The experimental results showed that the speedup ratios achieved 5.5 and 4.8 times for ClustalW v2.0.11 and ClustalWtk, respectively, by comparing 6 TK1s with a single TK1. The MTK platform is proven to be useful for multiple sequence alignments.



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