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Folding@home embraces Playstation 3

Cancer-curing 100 gigaflops per console
Thu Aug 24 2006, 12:03
THE DISTRIBUTED computing network designed to study protein folding and protein folding disease, Folding@home, has announced plans to launch a service on the upcoming Sony Playstation 3.

Via the Playstation 3's Cell processor, Folding@home expects to achieve performance of around 100 gigaflops per console, whilst reaching the petaflop level with around 10,000 consoles working in conjunction. The project is currently named 'Cure@PS3'.

The network hopes to apply the new processing power allowed by the network of Playstation 3's to push Folding@home into a new level of capabilities, applying simulations to further study of protein folding and related diseases, including Alzheimer's Disease, Huntington's Disease, and certain forms of cancer.

The PS3 Folding@home client will also support some advanced visualisation features. While the Cell microprocessor does most of the calculation processing of the simulation, the Nvidia supplied RSX graphics chip of the console displays the actual folding process in real-time using new technologies such as HDR and ISO surface rendering. It's even possible to navigate the 3D space of the molecule using the interactive controller of the PS3, allowing users to look at the protein from different angles in real-time.

This is probably one of the best uses for wasted processing power (and GPU power), and we hope PS3 users adopt the client en masse. More from the Folding@home Cure@PS3 project page, here. µ

See also
Playstation 3 works buy Sony doesn't want to show it
Playstation 3 demos look great
Sony Playstation 3 manufacturing not yet started
IBM claims Cell production is now going well
Sony PS3 in better shape now


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