Whilst I’m not a huge fan of the Playstation 3 as a games console (it’s too expensive and the games are just not there) I am really pleased to read that Playstation 3 owners are contributing more than 50% of the computing power to the Stanford University Protein Folding Program. [LINK]
I recently blogged about protein folding here [LINK]. Protein folding basically is a type of analysis that can help researchers better understand how certain diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and so on develop and how they can be cured.
Last month a version of the protein folding software was released for PS3s. Since the last month, 250,000 users have downloaded it and are running it. The resulting computing power is equivalent to 400 teraflops. That’s 400 trillion floating point operations per second.
The program overall achieves 700 teraflops so PS3s are contributing quite a bit of processing power. The hope is that in the next year the program can break the petaflop (a thousand trillion flops/sec) limit, a feat that has never been achieved in the history of the world.