From GPUs to AI and quantum: three waves of acceleration in bioinformatics

Bertil Schmidt, Andreas Hildebrandt
Institut für Informatik, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany
Drug Discovery Today, Volume 29, Issue 6, 103990, 2024


   title={From GPUs to AI and quantum: three waves of acceleration in bioinformatics},

   author={Schmidt, Bertil and Hildebrandt, Andreas},

   journal={Drug Discovery Today},





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The enormous growth in the amount of data generated by the life sciences is continuously shifting the field from model-driven science towards data-driven science. The need for efficient processing has led to the adoption of massively parallel accelerators such as graphics processing units (GPUs). Consequently, the development of bioinformatics methods nowadays often heavily depends on the effective use of these powerful technologies. Furthermore, progress in computational techniques and architectures continues to be highly dynamic, involving novel deep neural network models and artificial intelligence (AI) accelerators, and potentially quantum processing units in the future. These are expected to be disruptive for the life sciences as a whole and for drug discovery in particular. Here, we identify three waves of acceleration and their applications in a bioinformatics context: (i) GPU computing, (ii) AI and (iii) next-generation quantum computers.
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