New Star-P for Life Sciences Enables Faster Time-to-Discovery

WALTHAM, Mass., June 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Interactive Supercomputing Inc. (ISC) today unveiled a new version of its Star-P(TM) software designed to accelerate time-to-discovery and boost productivity for users in the life sciences industries.

WALTHAM, Mass., June 6 /PRNewswire/ — Interactive Supercomputing Inc. (ISC) today unveiled a new version of its Star-P(TM) software designed to accelerate time-to-discovery and boost productivity for users in the life sciences industries.

Star-P 2.5 for Life Sciences is an interactive parallel computing platform that enables users to code algorithms and models on their desktops using popular tools like Python or MATLAB(R), but run them instantly and interactively on parallel high performance computers (HPCs). It eliminates the need to re-program the applications in C, Fortran or MPI to run on parallel systems – which typically takes months to complete for large, complex problems.

The new Star-P 2.5 for Life Sciences features a number of performance improvements key to life science research, including the ability to work with much larger data sets – up to four terabytes across 512 processors. This capability is critical to support the growing volume of data involved in imaging, genomic databases, drug discovery and similar applications.

Star-P 2.5 for Life Sciences also features a 200-300 percent performance improvement for "blockbuster" Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) functions on distributed data, which are commonly used in life sciences signal and image processing applications.

Other enhancements include a new Python client interface that lets users take advantage of Python-specific numerical libraries and functions. Python support is important to the life sciences community due to the wide variety of open source modules available for applications such as image processing, molecular biology, bioinformatics and others. With Star-P 2.5 for Life Sciences, these Python modules can now be automatically parallelized, yielding significant productivity gains for users.

To boost productivity even further, the new version offers a tool that lets users see real-time graphical analysis of how well programs execute, allowing optimization of the code structure for better performance.

Through its collocated install configuration, Star-P can also turn multi-processor workstations into parallel application development systems. Collocated install enables research scientists to run the client and server on the same workstation. This allows them to develop models on multiple processors and refine them interactively; and then easily scale the models to bigger processor counts and data sets on larger servers and clusters.

Tested Mettle

Star-P is already a well-regarded productivity tool used by leading life sciences organizations. For example, researchers in MIT's Computational and Systems Biology Initiative (CSBi) are using Star-P to create new biological models that may someday yield new drug discoveries. It's also being used by scientists at the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Pediatric Oncology Branch to mine vast public databases of genomic information for potential new medical discoveries. And Researchers at Australia's Howard Florey Institute are using Star-P to rapidly analyze large MRI datasets that may someday reveal correlations between brain structure and conditions such as ADHD, Alzheimer's, auditory hallucinations and primal urges (e.g. thirst).

"Studying complex biological systems requires computational tools that enable us to optimize and refine our models quickly and interactively," said James G. Evans, CSBi research scientist for Imaging and Informatics. "The ease-of-use and performance improvements offered by Star-P 2.5 for Life Sciences will help accelerate interactive research of biological system models derived from very large image datasets."

"As simulation replaces physical testing, and scientists are increasingly modeling more complex phenomena, tools like Star-P that bridge high productivity desktop tools with high performance computers are critical in new model and algorithm development," said Ilya Mirman, vice president of marketing at ISC. "We believe Star-P for Life Sciences can become an important tool in solving some of the world's toughest medical, biological and pharmaceutical challenges."

Pricing and availability

Star-P 2.5 for Python will ship at the end of June and starts at $7,995 ($2,495 for academic institutions).

About Interactive Supercomputing

Interactive Supercomputing (ISC) launched in 2004 to commercialize Star-P, an interactive parallel computing platform. With automatic parallelization and interactive execution of existing desktop technical applications, Star-P merges two previously distinct environments – desktop computers and high performance servers – into one. Based in Waltham, Mass., the privately held company markets Star-P for a range of biomedical, financial, and government laboratory research applications. Additional information is available at http://www.interactivesupercomputing.com.

Star-P is a trademark of Interactive Supercomputing Inc. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

Contacts: Ilya Mirman Michelle Dillon Interactive Supercomputing Beaupre & Co. Public Relations 781-419-5088 603-559-5835 mdillon@beaupre.com

SOURCE Interactive Supercomputing

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