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New Parallelization Technique Boosts Our Ability to Model Biological Systems.

 NCSU News (06/09/11) Matt Shipman

 A new technique for using multi-core chips more efficiently has been developed by researchers at North Carolina State University (NCSU).  The team created a way for passing information back and forth between cores on a single chip by using threads to create locks that control access to shared data, says project leader and NCSU professor Cranos Williams.  “This allows all of the cores on the chip to work together to solve a unified problem,” Williams says.  The team tested the approach by running three models through chips that utilized one core, as well as chips that used the parallelization technique to utilize two, four, and eight cores.  In the models, the chip that utilized eight cores ran at least 7.5 times faster than the chip that used only one core.  The technique improved the efficiency of algorithms used to build models of biological systems, creating more realistic models that can account for uncertainty and biological variation.  Drug development and biofuels engineering are among the research areas that stand to benefit from the parallelization technique.

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