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IEEE Trans Nanobioscience. 2015 Jun;14(4):429-439. doi: 10.1109/TNB.2015.2403776. Epub 2015 Mar 5.

Accelerating the Pace of Protein Functional Annotation With Intel Xeon Phi Coprocessors.


Intel Xeon Phi is a new addition to the family of powerful parallel accelerators. The range of its potential applications in computationally driven research is broad; however, at present, the repository of scientific codes is still relatively limited. In this study, we describe the development and benchmarking of a parallel version of eFindSite, a structural bioinformatics algorithm for the prediction of ligand-binding sites in proteins. Implemented for the Intel Xeon Phi platform, the parallelization of the structure alignment portion of eFindSite using pragma-based OpenMP brings about the desired performance improvements, which scale well with the number of computing cores. Compared to a serial version, the parallel code runs 11.8 and 10.1 times faster on the CPU and the coprocessor, respectively; when both resources are utilized simultaneously, the speedup is 17.6. For example, ligand-binding predictions for 501 benchmarking proteins are completed in 2.1 hours on a single Stampede node equipped with the Intel Xeon Phi card compared to 3.1 hours without the accelerator and 36.8 hours required by a serial version. In addition to the satisfactory parallel performance, porting existing scientific codes to the Intel Xeon Phi architecture is relatively straightforward with a short development time due to the support of common parallel programming models by the coprocessor. The parallel version of eFindSite is freely available to the academic community at


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