A graphics supercomputer that for the first time combines high-speed computation, three-dimensional graphics, and molecular modeling and simulation software in a single interactive system was introduced last week at the American Chemical Society’s 3rd Chemical Congress in Toronto. The Molecular Simulator, targeted at biochemists, was jointly developed by hardware supplier Ardent Computer Corp. and software developer RioDesign, Inc. It can model and analyze the chemical structures of proteins and DNA that contain as many as 20,000 atoms.

“The closely coupled graphics and computational power of the Molecular Simulator make it practical, for the first time, to integrate display and analysis software with molecular structure and dynamics calculations in a single system,” says Thomas Steading, vice president of Ardent’s molecular sciences group.

The system features two application software packages from BioDesign: the BIOGRAF package applies to proteins, nucleic acids, lipids, and carbohydrates; the POLYGRAF package is useful for polymer and materials...

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