TAIPEI, TAIWAN, Apr. 29, 2021 – The COVID-19 virus has had an unquestionable impact on the global market. Since the virus keeps changing the variant, to sequence the virus becomes so essential. However, there is an awkward balance between the need to advance genomics to combat the virus, and the virus debilitating the market and investors leads to three elements that are important to consider within the field of genomics. Firstly, COVID-19 will not allow biotech companies to invest heavily in hardware equipment. Secondly, commercial companies will choose to switch to cloud services instead of self-built computer rooms because they can save commercial companies costs and bypass the limitations caused by COVID-19 on onsite expansions. Although national research endeavors and hardware construction may be slowed down for some time to come, there is a significant amount of government funded facilities, but there is still more advancements that need to be done to meet the expansion of the market. While these challenges may seem insurmountable, advancements in technology have served as a means to meet this challenge that we, WASAI, are very invested in as a biotechnology company. In particular, FPGA arrays have proven to be an exceptional tool in the race to meet the needs of a global community that is experiencing a global crisis.
The Impact of COVID on Biotech Investment and Cloud Computing
Due to the ongoing financial crisis and pandemic, one should not expect big on-prem HPC hardware investments from biotech companies given COVID drivers. While storage and more nuanced GPU deployments will push some spending, especially from startups, cloud has become even more important and data analysis, management tools are also central. In addition, while there are several government programs that are pushing investment into COVID research efforts, the real computer science drivers have less to do with hardware capabilities and more to do with data management and analysis, especially in commercial biotech. With the CARES Act funding in the U.S. and similar efforts elsewhere in the world, HPC and some non-profit centers have been able to upgrade or spin up new clusters dedicated at least in part to molecular modeling and other relevant workloads. What this all means is that there is an increased interest in cloud computing investments. Cloud computing allows researchers to access and store data without the need to invest in their own large scale data centers. However, there is still a need for hardware advancements to catch up with the growth in the field. While COVID-19 won't increase company hardware investment, the genomics research market is getting bigger, so the hardware investment needs investment to catch up with growth, but bio companies will need to find more efficient hardware investment; such as FPGA solution is so perfect for genomics research. FPGA arrays are unique in both their speed as well as adaptability which makes them very well suited to be used in genomic sequencing, such as in WASAI Lightning.
New Trend for GPU and FPGAs
The primary forms of technology that are aiding in meeting the demands of big data are GPU and FPGA. There are many different scientific workloads that work best with one GPU per node, others need multiple GPUs in a single chassis, and a third class of those problems may require more specialized nodes. In addition to what GPU improvements can provide, FPGA has become a truly fascinating game changer in the fields such as genomic sequencing. Field programmable gate arrays are highly customizable semiconductors that can be used to enhance the speed of a client’s task, and be customized freely to better meet their needs. FPGA can also be used in bolstering the speeds and capacity of cloud servers. For example, WASAI Lightning utilizes FPGA technology in order to improve speeds and provide a product with unparalleled ease of use. As a proud partner of Intel, with its high-performance Programmable Acceleration Cards, Lightning enhanced rapid data analytics and secure file transfers. We here at WASAI are paying close attention to this global pandemic and are proud to support the global endeavor to combat it through genomics. Genomics investment wont stop, but will become more customized and specific for genome research such as technology like FPGAs.
About WASAI Technology Inc.
WASAI Technology's mission is to deliver acceleration technologies of High-Performance Data Analysis (HPDA) in future data centers for targeted vertical applications with massive volumes and high velocities of scientific data. To strengthen and advance scientific discovery and technological research via big data-intensive acceleration in high-performance computing, WASAI Technology aims to improve commercialization and commoditization of scientific and technological applications.