Combined Power of PS3s to Help Medical Community

A single standalone PC may not be considered very powerful on its own, but imagine linking thousands of PCs together and combining all of this calculating muscle into one giant "mega computer." In order to do this, all that would need to be done is provide software to users to link the computers online, have everyone log in, and presto–you have a significant amount of computing power. This strategy of piggy-backing computer strength, called distributed computing, has been used in projects such as searching for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI@home) and computing the highest decimal point of pi. But there may be another "computer" that can out-work typical PC networking in this task, and it’s none other than the Cell processor found in the PS3.

According to Sony, the Cell is about 10 to 30 times faster than your average PC. reports that linking thousands–if not millions–of PS3s together would result in, well, a hell of a monster computer. But this time around, instead of look for ETs or solving an unsolvable mathematical equation, the combined processing power will be used to help find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and certain forms of cancer.

Sony offered a comparison of what a "standard" setup of regular PCs versus a setup of PS3s would be like. A setup of PCs working on a difficult problem may take 5 to 10 years to complete, while the same setup comprised of PS3s would take only a few months.

Vijay Pande, an associate professor of chemistry at Stanford University and project leader of the disease project, said, "We’re thrilled to have SCE be part of the Folding@home project. With PS3 now part of our network, we will be able to address questions previously considered impossible to tackle computationally, with the goal of finding cures to some of the world’s most life-threatening diseases."

If you’d like to participate in this worthy project and contribute some of your PS3’s computing power to help to find a cure for diseases, head to the official site for more information, located here.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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