Silicon Mechanics Partners with Acellera on Biomolecular Simulation Hardware-Software Appliance

Cost effective, reliable, and power-efficient turnkey solution

Silicon Mechanics, Inc. announces that it has launched a partnership with Acellera to assemble the MetroCubo™ hardware-software appliance for running Acellera's ACEMD™ bio-molecular simulation software. The partnership with UK-based Acellera is part of Silicon Mechanics' growing expertise in providing appliance design and development services.

Conceived from the ground up as an optimized molecular dynamics engine that exploits the computational power of graphics processing units (GPUs), MetroCubo's proprietary design comes preinstalled and tested with ACEMD, which guarantees best performance and efficiency with 4 GPUs per node. The powerful ACEMD software was recently used in a molecular simulation to explain a specific step in the maturation of HIV, enabling researchers to visualize the moment in which the protease binds itself for cutting.

Acellera had developed a patented design for a cost-effective, robust, reliable, and power-efficient solution that was specially optimized to run on GPUs. The company, which has a growing North American presence, was seeking a partner to help them manufacture a reliable, small, and well-cooled appliance, built with enterprise hardware, which could easily be installed in a rack in a server room. The new MetroCubo will be assembled at Silicon Mechanics' manufacturing facility in Bothell and shipped directly to customers in the U.S. and Canada. Silicon Mechanics will also provide ongoing hardware support.

"The Acellera project is a great example of Silicon Mechanics' ability to help customers design and build a turnkey custom hardware solution, integrate their software, and add custom branding to extend their identity in the market," said Silicon Mechanics partner/channel sales executive Christopher P. Cherry. "This method gets products to market quicker, while lowering their production costs." Customers can use Silicon Mechanics' 25,000 square foot US-based facility to handle the entire production lifecycle.

The MetroCubo appliance delivers more than 12 Teraflops of single-precision floating point performance using 6144 GPU cores per node. The base configuration is an Acellera workstation with a rackable patented chassis, with precision laser-cut 7-piece steel and an HDD anti-vibration case. At only 13.78 x 25.59 x 5.91 inches (35x65x15 cm) and weighing only 15.4 lbs., the workstation easily fits under a desk. The MetroCubo has 4 active and passively cooled GPUs. The rackable configuration is 3 units in 8U, with a maximum density of 60 GPUs. It features a cost-efficient single CPU.

According to David Soriano del Amo, PhD, Acellera's business development associate, "We wanted to build a machine with enterprise hardware and as a startup, it was extremely important to keep our costs down." He adds, "Silicon Mechanics has the complementary skills we needed to produce the right hardware, and the partnership is exactly what we need to introduce the new product to the North American market."