Multithreaded FPGA acceleration of DNA sequence mapping
2012 IEEE Conference on High Performance Extreme Computing
In bioinformatics, short read alignment is a computationally intensive operation that involves matching millions of short strings (called reads) against a reference genome. At the time of writing, a representative run requires to match tens of millions of reads of length of about 100 symbols against a genome that can consists of a few billion characters. Existing short read aligners are expected to report all the occurrences of each read as well as allow users to control the number of allowed
... number of allowed mismatches between reads and reference genome. Popular software implementations such as Bowtie  or BWA  can take many hours or days to execute, making the problem an ideal candidate for hardware acceleration. In this paper, we describe FHAST (FPGA Hardware Accelerated Sequencing-matching Tool), a hardware accelerator that acts as a drop-in replacement for short read alignment software. Our architecture masks memory latency by executing many concurrent hardware threads accessing memory simultaneously and consists of multiple parallel engines to exploit the parallelism available to us on an FPGA. We have implemented and tested FHAST on the Convey HC-1 , taking advantage of the large amount of memory bandwidth available to the system and the shared memory image between hardware and software. By comparing the performance of FHAST against Bowtie on the Convey HC-1 we observed up to ~70X improvement in total endto-end execution time, reducing runs that take several hours to a few minutes. We also favorably compare the rate of growth when expanding FHAST to utilize multiple FPGAs against multiple CPUs in Bowtie.