"Medical researchers imagine a day when gene-mapping simulations will take an hour or two to compute instead of a week, on systems that process data up to 100 times faster than they do today. That dream could become a reality in the next five years with technology called proximity communication that's under development at Sun Microsystems Laboratories in Menlo Park, Calif."
"In 2003, the U.S. government awarded Sun Labs a US$50 million Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency contract to help design next-generation supercomputers. That project will be completed in 2010, but proximity communication technology will show up in other applications before then, Drost says. When that happens, he adds, "it's a whole different ballgame.""
Sun Microsystems Proximity Communication - the Technology
"Proximity Communication provides an order-of-magnitude improvement in each of several dimensions: density, cost, speed, latency, and power demand. Because the space taken up by the communication path, the power and the cost per bit transmitted all go down, it will be possible to get tens of terabytes per second in and out of a single VLSI chip. Current technologies are limited to a few hundred gigabytes per second. With all dimensions taken into consideration, the overall capability improvement is two orders-of-magnitude.
Instead of trying to make processor chips ever larger, with resulting lower and lower yields, Proximity Communication lets us lay out a "checkerboard" of chips that all behave as a single integrated circuit. Wafer scale integration has historically failed because the yield drops to zero as the silicon area of a chip increases. With Proximity Communication, one can get the same performance advantage as wafer scale integration but with excellent yield.a"
“Bioinformatics will be at the core of biology in the 21st century. In fields ranging from structural biology to genomics to biomedical imaging, ready access to data and analytical tools are fundamentally changing the way investigators in the life sciences conduct research and approach problems. Complex, computationally intensive biological problems are now being addressed and promise to significantly advance our understanding of biology and medicine. No biological discipline will be unaffected by these technological breakthroughs.”BIOINFORMATICS IN THE 21st CENTURY
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