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PS3 Users More Than Double Folding@Home Computing

PS3 Users More Than Double [email protected] Computing

April 25, 2007 | By Jason Dobson

April 25, 2007 | By Jason Dobson
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More: Console/PC

Officials from Sony Computer Entertainment have revealed that Stanford University’s [email protected] distributed computing project has greatly benefited from participation by the PlayStation 3 user community, with the program's computing capacity more than doubling since the console joined the effort.

The project, which is used to aid in calculations relating to the study of protein folding and protein folding diseases, was originally run by joining thousands of PCs throughout the world, with a concept similar to the popular [email protected] screen saver, which analyzes radio-telescope data to find evidence of intelligent signals from space.

The collaboration with Sony was first announced by Leland Stanford Junior University in the U.S. in August 2006. In March, the project was added to the PlayStation 3’s XMB (XrossMediaBar) via a firmware update, and since that time more than 250,000 unique PlayStation 3 users have registered to participate in the program, lending their consoles' processing power to the research effort.

Program officials note that the rapid uptake among PlayStation 3 users has spurred additional growth among PC contributors as well, with the number of active PC contributing to [email protected] increasing by 20 percent in the last month.

Sony also plans to release and update to the PlayStation 3's [email protected] application tomorrow in order to “further enhance the user experience.” The update will include an improvement in folding calculation speeds, increased visibility of user location by IP address, and the ability for users to create longer donor or team names.

Additionally, the company stated that it will continue to support distributed computing projects in a wide variety of academic fields such as medical and social sciences and environmental studies through the use of the PlayStation 3 console.

“The PS3 turnout has been amazing, greatly exceeding our expectations and allowing us to push our work dramatically forward,” said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and [email protected] program lead. “Thanks to PS3, we have performed simulations in the first few weeks that would normally take us more than a year to calculate. We are now gearing up for new simulations that will continue our current studies of Alzheimer’s and other diseases.”

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