Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers using parallel processing computing could save thousands by using an Xbox

15.09.2009
XBox 360 Chip Shows Some Cardiac Arrhythmia are Unpredictable

A new study by a University of Warwick researcher has demonstrated that researchers trying to model a range of processes could use the power and capabilities of a particular XBox chip as a much cheaper alternative to other forms of parallel processing hardware.

Dr Simon Scarle, a researcher in the University of Warwick’s WMG Digital Laboratory, wished to model how electrical excitations in the heart moved around damaged cardiac cells in order to investigate or even predict cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal electrical activity in the heart which can lead to a heart attack). To conduct these simulations using traditional CPU based processing one would normally need to book time on a dedicated parallel processing computer or spend thousands on a parallel network of PCs.

Dr Scarle however also had a background in the computer games industry as he had been a Software Engineer at the Warwickshire firm Rare Ltd, part of Microsoft Games Studios. His time there made him very aware of the parallel processing power of Graphical Processing Unit (GPU) of the XBox 360, the popular computer games console played in many homes. He was convinced that this chip could, for a few hundred pounds, be employed to conduct much the same scientific modelling as several thousand pounds of parallel network PCs.

The results of his work have just been published in the journal Computational Biology and Chemistry under the title of “Implications of the Turing completeness of reaction-diffusion models, informed by GPGPU simulations on an XBox 360: Cardiac arrhythmias, re-entry and the Halting problem”. The good news is that his hunch was right and the XBox 360 GPU can indeed be used by researchers in exactly the money saving way he envisaged. Simon Scarle said:

“This is a highly effective way of carrying out high end parallel computing on “domestic” hardware for cardiac simulations. Although major reworking of any previous code framework is required, the Xbox 360 is a very easy platform to develop for and this cost can easily be outweighed by the benefits in gained computational power and speed, as well as the relative ease of visualization of the system.” However his research does have some bad news for a particular set of cardiac researchers in that his study demonstrates that it is impossible to predict the rise of certain dangerous arrhythmias, as he has shown that cardiac cell models are affected by a specific limitation of computational systems known as the Halting problem.

For further information please contact:

Dr Simon Scarle, WMG, University of Warwick
Tel: +44(0)7983 342513 S.Scarle@warwick.ac.uk
Peter Dunn, Press and Media Relations Manager, Communications Office,
University House University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 8UW
+44 (0)24 76 523708 or +44(0)7767 655860 email: p.j.dunn@warwick.ac.uk
Twitter @PeterJDunn

Dr Simon Scarle | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.warwick.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>