DRAGEN Processor

The world’s first processor designed to analyse specific sequencing data tasks.


What it does.

DRAGEN™ by Edico Genome is used to accelerate our next-generation sequencing workflows. As the first Institute in the UK to deploy the new bioinformatics processor, it dramatically reduces our genomic pipeline run times from hours to minutes.

The DRAGEN Bio-IT Processor is integrated on a PCIe card and available in a pre-configured server, enabling seamless integration into bioinformatics workflows. DRAGEN is highly reconfigurable, using a field-programmable gate array (FPGA) to provide hardware-accelerated implementations of BCL conversion, compression, mapping, alignment, sorting, duplicate marking, haplotype variant calling and joint genotyping.

How we use it.

The first adaptation of the DRAGEN technology for the analysis of non-human genomes as part of our endeavours to sequence the DNA of plant, animal and microbial species to promote a sustainable bioeconomy.

Initial results.

Initial evaluations of DRAGEN show that mapping against the Ash Tree genome was 177 times faster per processing core than our local HPC systems, requiring only seven minutes instead of three hours on one of the larger datasets. Alignment runs on the rice genome that take approximately two hours on our HPC servers took just three minutes using DRAGEN.

By understanding the genomic building blocks of wheat, and its diversity, we can better inform breeders on how to improve their yields, particularly in areas where wheat is prone to disease and drought. Alignment against reference genomes is a fundamental task undertaken daily by our researchers; our DRAGEN™ system contains both genome and transcriptome highly optimised analysis pipelines.

Related reading.