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Privately held company
Industry Bioinformatics Hardware and Software
Founded 1981
Headquarters Carlsbad, CA, USA
Area served
Products DeCypher, Tera-BLAST, DeCypherSW, DeCypherHMM, GeneDetective, PipeWorks
Parent Active Motif, Inc.
Website TimeLogic

TimeLogic is the bioinformatics division of Active Motif, Inc. The company is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. TimeLogic develops FPGA-accelerated tools for biological sequence comparison in the field of high performance bioinformatics and biocomputing.


TimeLogic was founded in 1981 by James W. (Jim) Lindelien and developed one of the first commercial hardware-accelerated tools for bioinformatics, an FPGA-accelerated version of the Smith-Waterman algorithm. TimeLogic's DeCypher systems have expanded to provide accelerated implementations of the ubiquitous bioinformatics algorithms BLAST, Smith-Waterman, and HMMER using field programmable gate array (FPGA) technology.

In 2003, TimeLogic was acquired by Active Motif,[1] a biotechnology reagent company started by Invitrogen co-founder Joseph Fernandez.

In 2008, TimeLogic formed a partnership with Biomatters to integrate Geneious Pro with the accelerated algorithms on DeCypher systems.[2]

In 2011, TimeLogic formed a partnership with Bielefeld University's Center for Biotechnology (CeBiTec) to jointly develop accelerated computational tools.[3]

Selected scientific contributions[edit]

Accelerated bioinformatics algorithms have played an important role in high throughput genomics, and DeCypher systems have been widely published as an enabling technology for genomic discovery in over 180 peer-reviewed scientific research articles, including the selected milestones below:

In 1997, the annotation of the first complete sequence of the E. coli K12 genome used DeCypher Smith-Waterman to determine the function of new translated sequences.[4]

In 2002, the rice genome, the first completely sequenced crop,[5] was annotated using DeCypher FrameSearch "to detect and guide the correction of frameshifts caused by indels."[6]

In 2004, a high throughput genomic approach to the study of horizontal gene transfer in plant-parasitic nematodes[7] was conducted using DeCypher Tera-BLAST, Timelogic's implementation of the BLAST algorithm.

In 2007, HMM profiling of metagenomics sequences generated by the Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition (GOS) were performed using DeCypherHMM to discover 1700 new protein families and matches to 6000 sequences previously categorized in scientific literature as ORFans.[8] Dr. Craig Venter credited TimeLogic in his biography, noting that the DeCypher system performed "an order of magnitude or two more than had been achieved before. The final computation took two weeks but would have run for well more than a century on a standard computer."[9]

Also in 2007, a physical map of the soybean pathogen Fusarium virguliforme was developed using exonic fragments identified with DeCypher GeneDetective.[10]

In 2011, a global assessment of the genomic variation in cattle was conducted using DeCypher Tera-BLAST "to accurately detect chromosomal positions of the SNP sites."[11]


  • DeCypher Server is a high performance server with the DeCypher Similarity Search Engine FPGA-based accelerator that can be reprogrammed on the fly to run all of TimeLogic's accelerated search algorithms.
  • Tera-BLAST is an accelerated BLAST algorithm implementation, which includes Tera-BLASTN, Tera-BLASTP, Tera-BLASTX, Tera-TBLASTN, and Tera-TBLASTX. Tera-BLAST also includes Tera-Probe, a proprietary algorithm for probe design.
  • DeCypher Smith-Waterman is an accelerated Smith-Waterman algorithm implementation, which also includes FrameSearch.
  • DeCypherHMM is an accelerated HMMER algorithm implementation, which also includes HFST, a frameshift tolerant HMM search.
  • GeneDetective is an accelerated implementation similar to Ewan Birney's GeneWise[12] for discovery of genes, intron, exons, and splice sites in eukaryotic genomes.
  • PipeWorks is a drag-and-drop graphical interface for the design of accelerated bioinformatics pipelines.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ GenomeWeb staff reporter (26 August 2003). "Reagent Firm Active Motif Acquires TimeLogic". GenomeWeb. Retrieved 20 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "TimeLogic’s latest FPGA technology to be coupled with Geneious Server". January 18, 2011. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  3. ^ "Active Motif and the CeBiTec Form Partnership to Jointly Develop Computational Tools for TimeLogic Corporation's FPGA-Based Hardware Accelerated Bioinformatics Platform". November 14, 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2011. 
  4. ^ Blattner, F. R.; Plunkett g, G.; Bloch, C. A.; Perna, N. T.; Burland, V.; Riley, M.; Collado-Vides, J.; Glasner, J. D.; Rode, C. K.; Mayhew, G. F.; Gregor, J.; Davis, N. W.; Kirkpatrick, H. A.; Goeden, M. A.; Rose, D. J.; Mau, B.; Shao, Y. (1997). "The Complete Genome Sequence of Escherichia coli K-12". Science. 277 (5331): 1453–1462. PMID 9278503. doi:10.1126/science.277.5331.1453. 
  5. ^ Gillis, Justing (August 11, 2005). "Rice Genome Fully Mapped". washingtonpost.com. 
  6. ^ Goff, S. A.; Ricke, D.; Lan, T. H.; Presting, G.; Wang, R.; Dunn, M.; Glazebrook, J.; Sessions, A.; Oeller, P.; Varma, H.; Hadley, D.; Hutchison, D.; Martin, C.; Katagiri, F.; Lange, B. M.; Moughamer, T.; Xia, Y.; Budworth, P.; Zhong, J.; Miguel, T.; Paszkowski, U.; Zhang, S.; Colbert, M.; Sun, W. L.; Chen, L.; Cooper, B.; Park, S.; Wood, T. C.; Mao, L.; Quail, P. (2002). "A Draft Sequence of the Rice Genome (Oryza sativa L. Ssp. Japonica)". Science. 296 (5565): 92–100. PMID 11935018. doi:10.1126/science.1068275. 
  7. ^ Scholl, E. H.; Thorne, J. L.; McCarter, J. P.; Bird, D. M. (2003). "Horizontally transferred genes in plant-parasitic nematodes: A high-throughput genomic approach". Genome Biology. 4 (6): R39. PMC 193618Freely accessible. PMID 12801413. doi:10.1186/gb-2003-4-6-r39. 
  8. ^ Yooseph, S.; Sutton, G.; Rusch, D. B.; Halpern, A. L.; Williamson, S. J.; Remington, K.; Eisen, J. A.; Heidelberg, K. B.; Manning, G.; Li, W.; Jaroszewski, L.; Cieplak, P.; Miller, C. S.; Li, H.; Mashiyama, S. T.; Joachimiak, M. P.; Van Belle, C.; Chandonia, J. M.; Soergel, D. A.; Zhai, Y.; Natarajan, K.; Lee, S.; Raphael, B. J.; Bafna, V.; Friedman, R.; Brenner, S. E.; Godzik, A.; Eisenberg, D.; Dixon, J. E.; Taylor, S. S. (2007). "The Sorcerer II Global Ocean Sampling Expedition: Expanding the Universe of Protein Families". PLoS Biology. 5 (3): e16. PMC 1821046Freely accessible. PMID 17355171. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.0050016. 
  9. ^ Venter, J. Craig (October 18, 2007). A Life Decoded: My Genome: My Life. New York, New York: Viking Adult. ISBN 0-670-06358-4. OCLC 165048736. 
  10. ^ Shultz, J. L.; Ali, S.; Ballard, L.; Lightfoot, D. A. (2007). "Development of a physical map of the soybean pathogen Fusarium virguliforme based on synteny with Fusarium graminearum genomic DNA". BMC Genomics. 8: 262. PMC 1978504Freely accessible. PMID 17683537. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-8-262. 
  11. ^ Zhan, B.; Fadista, J.; Thomsen, B.; Hedegaard, J.; Panitz, F.; Bendixen, C. (2011). "Global assessment of genomic variation in cattle by genome resequencing and high-throughput genotyping". BMC Genomics. 12: 557. PMC 3248099Freely accessible. PMID 22082336. doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-557. 
  12. ^ Birney, E.; Clamp, M.; Durbin, R. (2004). "GeneWise and Genomewise". Genome Research. 14 (5): 988–995. PMC 479130Freely accessible. PMID 15123596. doi:10.1101/gr.1865504.