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Folding@Home reaches a Petaflop

Folding@Home reaches a Petaflop

Protein folding - helpful, impressive and pretty too!

Folding@Home is a great project, one which shows how gamers and enthusiasts from across the world can come together for one single, shared purpose and help end suffering across the world without doing a damn thing.

The project, for those not in the know, let's people contribute some of their unused CPU power towards a system dedicated to investigating protein folding, a cutting edge technique which could one day prove critical to fighting back against all manner of diseases and cancers. Protein folding is something which is incredibly complex you see and therefore it needs all the CPU power it can get.

PS3 owners has been particularly lauded for the way they have embraced the project, with over 250,000 PS3 owners jumping in and more than doubling the processing power of the program.

The Folding@Home project, which is centralised at Stanford University, has reached a massive landmark in it's development today and the combined processing power of the project is now equal to a single petaflop. That's one quadrillion floating point calculations every second.

Put another way, it means that every single person on the planet would have to do 75,000 calculations a second, every second in order to achieve similar results. It's a concept so massive that Microsoft Word doesn't even recognise a Petaflop as existing in its dictionary. Needless to say that the boffins at Stanford are pretty happy about the whole thing;

"The recent inclusion of PS3 as part of the Folding@home program has afforded our research group with computing power that goes far beyond what we initially hoped," said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project lead.

"Thanks to PS3, we are now essentially able to fast-forward several aspects of our research by a decade, which will greatly help us make more discoveries and advancements in our studies of several different diseases."

If you're still not involved in the Folding@Home project then you can join up here and you can find out how to join Team Bit-tech (AKA Team 33346) by clicking here. In the meantime, why not head to the forums and pass some congratulations around? 

15 Comments

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steveo_mcg 21st September 2007, 11:22 Quote
Wow that's a lot of processing... just image the amount of power all those P4's must be burning!
jezmck 21st September 2007, 12:34 Quote
Is it possible to get other consoles contributing?
Quote:
Microsoft Word doesn't even recognise a Petaflop as existing in it's dictionary
and bit-tech's CMS doesn't highlight grammar mistakes either ;)
CardJoe 21st September 2007, 12:36 Quote
Fixed!
Delphium 21st September 2007, 13:44 Quote
Petaflop eh, wow, nice =]

Just joined the bit-tech folding team (late, but better than never), need to work out how to run F@H on multiple cores, :) so I may add my bit of contribution.
Multiple instance with same username or different usernames?
Spacecowboy92 21st September 2007, 15:39 Quote
I signed up for the team too!

One petaflop, I hadent even heard of that before.
Vermino 21st September 2007, 17:30 Quote
Jesus, i didn't know what Folding@home was on my PS3 - seriously thought it was just spam..
Thank god for this article, signing up now
2JSC 21st September 2007, 22:19 Quote
So does this count for the race to a Petaflop?

http://www.petaflop.info/
legoman666 21st September 2007, 23:54 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Delphium
Petaflop eh, wow, nice =]

Just joined the bit-tech folding team (late, but better than never), need to work out how to run F@H on multiple cores, :) so I may add my bit of contribution.
Multiple instance with same username or different usernames?

run multiple instances of the command line client. When running the initial setup, you have to go into the advanced options and change the machine ID of the 2nd instance to 2. Otherwise it will not work properly. It's rather simple.
automagsrock 22nd September 2007, 14:04 Quote
Sweet. I am gonna get my PS3 and my PC running on this when I get home from work. Anything I can do to help.
outlawaol 22nd September 2007, 18:04 Quote
Anyone know if they have multi threading enabled software yet?

I'd love to contribute my quad core.

:)
andyl33t 22nd September 2007, 20:32 Quote
Woo :) feels good to have contributed!
Delphium 22nd September 2007, 22:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by legoman666
run multiple instances of the command line client. When running the initial setup, you have to go into the advanced options and change the machine ID of the 2nd instance to 2. Otherwise it will not work properly. It's rather simple.

;) ta
DeXtmL 23rd September 2007, 12:39 Quote
So, why not let XBOX360 join it
DougEdey 23rd September 2007, 12:40 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeXtmL
So, why not let XBOX360 join it

Because C# is too slow and microsoft would charge people to download it
Irvine 23rd September 2007, 22:43 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by outlawaol
Anyone know if they have multi threading enabled software yet?

I'd love to contribute my quad core.

:)

Absolutely! F@H actually has an SMP client that can utilize dual or quad cores, and you get a point bonus for using that client, too! It's in beta and should be on their downloads page.
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