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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

October Industry News

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Aperio Receives FDA Digital Pathology Clearance

Aperio Technologies, Inc., a global leader in digital pathology for the healthcare and life sciences industry, has received clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market the ER and PR image analysis applications available through its patented ScanScope® slide scanning system. The FDA-cleared immunohistochemistry (IHC) image analysis applications are intended to be used as an aid to pathologists in detecting and quantifying ER (estrogen receptor) and PR (progesterone receptor) protein expressions from digital slide images created by Aperio's slide scanning systems.

Aperio's FDA clearance encompasses the company's complete digital pathology system, including ScanScope scanners for creating digital slide images from microscope slides, the SpectrumTM digital pathology information management system for managing, viewing, and analyzing digital slides, and the specific image analysis applications which perform the automated scoring of ER and PR breast cancer digital slides.

"The addition of FDA cleared ER/PR image analysis applications to our previously cleared applications for HER2 underscores our commitment to provide clinicians and breast cancer patients with the most comprehensive entire-slide quantitative image analysis panel available anywhere," stated Dirk Soenksen, CEO of Aperio. "Aimed with these clearances, our customers can now take full advantage of our new digital IHC software to optimize their workflow and streamline reporting, while enjoying the benefits of quantitative image analysis."

In 2007, Aperio achieved more than 125 percent sales growth through continued adoption of its digital pathology platform across a wide spectrum of clinical, research and educational applications. Aperio has an installed base of more than 400 systems in 27 countries, including more than two-thirds of the top 15 rated U.S. hospitals, leading academic medical centers and reference laboratories, and two-thirds of the top 15 pharmaceutical companies.

NCSA to Add 62 Teraflops of Computing Power With New System

Installation has begun on a new computational resource at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Lincoln will deliver peak performance of 62.3 teraflops and is designed to push the envelope in the use of heterogeneous processors for scientific computing. The system is expected to be online in October, bringing NCSA's total computational resources to nearly 170 teraflops.

"Achieving performance at the petascale and exascale and beyond may well depend on a heterogeneous mix of processors," said NCSA Director Thom Dunning. "The use of novel architectures for scientific computing is part of ongoing work at NCSA."

Lincoln will consist of 192 compute nodes (Dell PowerEdge 1950 III dual-socket nodes with quad-core Intel Harpertown 2.33GHz processors and 16GB of memory) and 96 NVIDIA Tesla S1070 accelerator units. Each Tesla unit provides 500 gigaflops of double-precision performance and 16GB of memory. Lincoln's InfiniBand interconnect fabric will be linked to the interconnect fabric of Abe, the 89-teraflop cluster that is currently NCSA's largest resource. This will enable certain applications to run across the entire complex, providing a peak "Abe Lincoln" performance of 152 teraflops.

NCSA's Innovative Systems Laboratory has worked with researchers in many disciplines, from weather modeling to biomolecular simulation, to explore the use of many-core processors, field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), and other novel architectures as accelerators for scientific computing. The center maintains a 16-node research cluster, called QP, which includes hardware donated by NVIDIA. NCSA and its collaborators have seen significant speed-ups on a number of applications, including a chemistry direct SCF code, the NAMD molecular dynamics code, and the WRF weather forecasting and research code.

"The NCSA GPU cluster, one of the largest of its kind, is an invaluable resource as we search to solve new classes of weather and climate problems at petascale," said John Michalakes, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and the University of Colorado. "Beyond scalable inter-node parallelism, we must have much faster nodes themselves—and applications able to exploit these architectures. QP and its successor Lincoln provide both, giving us a springboard to solving this next tier of earth science problems."

"We anticipate that even more applications will be able to take advantage of Lincoln, given the diverse characteristics of our early-adopter applications," said John Towns, leader of NCSA's Persistent Infrastructure Directorate.

Other University of Illinois efforts also drive heterogeneous computing. Wen-mei Hwu, the Sanders-AMD Endowed Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, leads a project to develop application algorithms, programming tools, and software for accelerators at Illinois' Institute for Advanced Computing Applications and Technologies. Hwu also leads the NVIDIA CUDA Center of Excellence at Illinois. Schools receiving this accreditation integrate the CUDA software environment into their curriculum. CUDA is a software development tool that allows programmers to run scientific codes like WRF and NAMD on many-core processors.

"There is a whole new constellation of parallel processing architectures now entering the mainstream," said Hwu. "It is crucial that we begin making use of them to drive scientific discovery and that we prepare the next generation of researchers to harness them."

AIA Membership Passes 300

The Automated Imaging Association (Ann Arbor, Mich.), the world's largest machine vision trade group, announced that membership has reached a record high of 304 companies from 27 nations.

Soliton Technologies (Bangalore, India), the first Indian company to design and manufacture machine vision cameras, became AIA's 300th member.

"It is fitting that a company from India is our 300th member," said Jeffrey A. Burnstein, AIA's Executive Vice President who has been with the association since its founding in 1984. "One of the keys to our successful growth is the decision by our Board of Directors more than a decade ago to become a truly global trade association by accepting members from around the world and promoting the industry in every corner of the globe."

Worldwide, machine vision industry sales were $5.2 billion in 2007 and are expected to reach $6.8 billion by 2012. Whalls attributes the growth to the fact that more companies in a wider variety of industries are utilizing machine vision and imaging technologies to automate their processes, increase quality, improve productivity, and ultimately reduce costs.

"We've seen the growth of our industry and trade association go from a small group of companies in the early 1980s to a multi-billion-dollar global marketplace driven by hundreds of successful companies," said Dana Whalls, AIA Managing Director.



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