PS3s to help cure cancer and alzheimers?

Written by Brett Thomas

August 28, 2006 | 15:37

Tags: #alzheimers #cancer #foldinghome #ps3

Companies: #sony

Those of you in the UK might be taking today off, but over here in US we're back in our monday routine. It appears there might be something good out of the PS3 launch yet - the console is the next target of Folding@Home, which has developed another supercomputing project to find cures for cancer and alzheimers...all whilst just using your idle Cell processor.

Users will be able to download a tiny program to the PS3, much like you can do with your computer for the current Folding@Home project. But why do it on the PS3 rather than another PC version? According to the Folding@Home website, it's simple: the Cell processor should frankly be able to just do more.

"Using the Cell processor of the PS3, we should be able to do more folding than what one could do on a PC. Also, since the PS3 has a powerful GPU, the PS3 client will offer real time visualization for the first time."

A group of only 10,000 PS3 consoles is expected to have four times the computing power of the world's leading supercomputer, the IBM BlueGene. Since Sony somehow expects it will sell 12 million of the units in the first year alone, the potential processing power is enormous. With the program already written, Folding@Home hopes to be ready with an interface for the system's launch in November, prepared to eat up some spare cycles over the holiday season.

Got a thought on the Folding@Home team's plans? Think it's the best use so far for a PS3 aside from games? Let us know your thoughts in our forums.
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