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Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai Leverages Accelerated BioInformatics Solution From SGI and Mitrionics for Faster Time to Insight

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and SHANGHAI, China, July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To help extinguish effects of the ancient parasite, the Schistosoma japonicum or blood fluke -- one of the major infectious parasites to a wide range of hosts including primates, rodents, carnivores, and humans -- Chinese Scientists at the China National Human Genome Center (CHGC) in Shanghai are using SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) compute technology running a Mitrion-accelerated BioInformatics application to improve early disease diagnosis and discover new drugs to effectively treat disease caused by this parasite.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. and SHANGHAI, China, July 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — To help extinguish effects of the ancient parasite, the Schistosoma japonicum or blood fluke — one of the major infectious parasites to a wide range of hosts including primates, rodents, carnivores, and humans — Chinese Scientists at the China National Human Genome Center (CHGC) in Shanghai are using SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) compute technology running a Mitrion-accelerated BioInformatics application to improve early disease diagnosis and discover new drugs to effectively treat disease caused by this parasite.

Blood fluke has evolved for thousands of years. Currently, existing drugs target disease caused by blood fluke found in South America. In the past few years the Schistosoma japonicum has been re-found in some lakes and rivers in the east and south China area. To study the parasite evolution, improve disease diagnosis in the very early stages, and develop more effective drugs to treat disease, Chinese bioscientists decided to discover the secrets of the blood fluke genome.

CHGC implemented the first phase of blood fluke genomics sequencing using the new SGI(R) RASC(TM) Appliance and SGI InfiniteStorage 350 storage solution, installed in February. CHGC bioscientists achieved faster query times — up to 10 times faster — with the combination of SGI RASC (Reconfigurable Application-Specific Computing) technology, an accelerated version of BLAST-n software developed by Mitrionics, and the acclaimed SGI(R) Altix(R) server platform.

SGI(R) InfiniteStorage 350 ensures that the data generated by the CHGC research is both protected and available to maximize analysis. A cost effective solution, the initial purchase of 8TB allows plenty of capacity for future expansion as the need arises. With integrated controllers, the density of the SGI InfiniteStorage 350 contributes to the mobility of BioInformatics solution.

"Shortened time to results is critical to our success. With the blood fluke genome research, we have 300 million base pairsto study, and have 6-7 times more calculations in each step. The large shared memory and ease-of-use with the SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics enables our scientists to focus on achieving results faster and not spending valuable time on computer science," said Dr.Zhou, Deputy Director of BioInformatics Department, CHGC.

The SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics is a pre-configured solution that dramatically simplifies nucleotide sequence queries using BLAST-n. The industrial-scale appliance addresses productivity problems in a range of BioInformatics environments — from those that serve thousands of users running BLAST queries against a single database, to others with smaller numbers of users running complex queries against databases that are hundreds of Gigabytes in size.

Using Mitrionics software and an accelerated version of NCBI BLAST-n, the SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics offloads genome sequencing workloads that typically run on Linux(R) clusters. The Mitrion accelerated BLAST-n running on the SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics runs large queries up to 15 times faster than a single-core nodes powered by AMD Opteron 8820 SE processors, and production runs of thousands of smaller queries by up to 60 times faster.

The SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics further increases throughput by executing multiple BLAST-n queries in parallel on multiple FPGAs. With up to 16 FPGAs in a single SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics, customers can achieve throughput equal to between 240 and 960 AMD Opteron cores without the solution complexity and system management overhead.

"The accelerating pace of genomics research means scientists are running more and larger sequence queries. The turnkey solution SGI and Mitrionics have developed makes the genomics sequencing faster and easier, and the power consumption per BLAST-n query is as little as one-tenth," said Alex Lee, country manager of SGI Greater China Region. "CHGC's successful implementation of this solution is tantamount to their leadership position in China and the world."

"This turnkey accelerated BLAST solution from Mitrionics and SGI represents a significant HPC industry milestone by establishing new performance levels for processing power and reduced power consumption," stated Anders Dellson, CEO of Mitrionics, Inc. "BioInformatics and genomics are among the areas in the life sciences industry where several of the most widely-used applications are ideally suited for FPGA acceleration. We're extremely excited to be working with both SGI and CHGC as they are leading their respective industries in delivering and utilizing accelerated computing technologies."

The CHGC also recognized that the research into the genome of the blood fluke would require them to run much more than BLAST-n. The scalable, general purpose nature of the SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics supported that capability by enabling the system to be upgraded to a total of 48-cores of Intel(R) Itanium(R) 2 processors, 128GB of shared memory and an InfiniteStorage 350 with 8TB of disk storage. The system's ease-of-use and portability of open source software running in the shared memory environment have proved crucial for the second phase of their research. The SGI RASC Appliance for BioInformatics is running Novell's SUSE(R) Linux(R) Enterprise Server 10. A CHGC research paper is scheduled to be published in July.

About CHGC

Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai (CHGC), a new research unit organized by the institutes from the related fields in Shanghai for fulfilling the national scientific projects of human genome research and its application and development, was established on October. 29th, 1998 on the basis of its former Shanghai Human Genome Center founded in Shanghai Pudong Zhang-Jiang High-Tech Park on March 4th, 1998.

The founding members of CHGC include National Center for Biotechnology Development affiliated to Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology, Shanghai New Drug Research and Development Center, Pudong Technical Venture Capital Company, Shanghai Branch of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Fudan University, Ruijin Hospital affiliated to Shanghai Second Medical University, Shanghai Institute of Cancer Research, Shanghai Medical University, Shanghai Second Military Medical University, and Shanghai Zhang-Jiang Hi-Tech Park Development Company. http://function.chgc.sh.cn/sj-proteome/index.htm

About Mitrionics

Founded in 2001, Mitrionics, Inc. is the technology leader in the exciting new field of FPGA Supercomputing which provides higher processing power and lower energy consumption than clusters of computer systems. The company's Mitrion Virtual Processor and Mitrion Software Development Kit provide cost effective FPGA Supercomputing power to organizations for their most critical applications. The Mitrion Platform is unique from any other FPGA programming solution, because it eliminates the need for circuit design skills, thus making FPGA Supercomputing performance accessible to an entire new market of scientists and developers. Mitrionics has key industry relationships with Cray, Nallatech, and Silicon Graphics. For more information, visit the company Web site at http://www.mitrionics.com, or call 310-558-9495, or email: info@mitrionics.com.

SGI | Innovation for Results(TM)

SGI (Nasdaq: SGIC) is a leader in high-performance computing. SGIdelivers a complete range of high-performance server and storage solutions along with industry-leading professional services and support that enable its customers to overcome the challenges of complex data-intensive workflows and accelerate breakthrough discoveries, innovation and information transformation. SGI solutions help customers solve their computing challenges whether it's enhancing the quality of life through drug research, designing and manufacturing safer and more efficient cars and airplanes, studying global climate, providing technologies for homeland security and defense, or helping enterprises manage large data. With offices worldwide, the company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and can be found on the Web at http://www.sgi.com.

SGI, Altix, the SGI cube and the SGI logo are registered trademarks of SGIin the United States and/or other countries worldwide. Novell is a registered trademark, and SUSE is a trademark of Novell, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Linux is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries. Intel and Intel Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

This news release contains forward-looking statements regarding SGI technologies and third-party technologies that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in such statements. The reader is cautioned not to rely unduly on these forward-looking statements, which are not a guarantee of future or current performance. Such risks and uncertainties include long-term program commitments, the performance of third parties, the sustained performance of current and future products, financing risks, the ability to integrate and support a complex technology solution involving multiple providers and users, and other risks detailed from time to time in the company's most recent SEC reports, including its reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q.

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