The reconfigurable computing paradigm, which exploits the flexibility and versatility of field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), has emerged as a powerful solution for speeding up time-critical algorithms. This paper describes a reconfigurable computing solution for processing raw mass spectrometric data generated by MALDI-TOF instruments. The hardware-implemented algorithms for denoising, baseline correction, peak identification, and deisotoping, running on a Xilinx Virtex-2 FPGA at 180 MHz, generate a mass fingerprint that is over 100 times faster than an equivalent algorithm written in C, running on a Dual 3-GHz Xeon server. The results obtained using the FPGA implementation are virtually identical to those generated by a commercial software package MassLynx
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