That's a lot of protein folding.
Despite the fact that there are actually some decent games available for the PS3 now, it seems that many users are choosing to devote their consoles’ time to different activities. To whit, there are now more than one million users of the PS3 version of the Folding@Home program, the Stanford University distributed computer project.
The project, some might remember, passed the petaflop computing mark back in September last year, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of Record in the process. The huge uptake by PS3 users means that around three quarters of the computing power made available to Folding@Home now comes from the console version of the program – a testament to the flat-out number crunching prowess of the Cell processor.
Vijay Pande, the project’s founder and Stanford’s Associate Proffesor of Chemistry was understandably pleased commenting that:
“Since partnering with SCEI, we have seen our research capabilities increase by leaps and bounds through the continued participation of Folding@home users. Now we have over one million PS3 users registered for Folding@home, allowing us 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. We are grateful for the extraordinary worldwide participation by PS3 and PC users around the globe.”
If you happen to have a PS3 and want to contribute a bit of its idle time to helping advance modern medicine then you could do a lot worse than set your console to a bit of protein folding. Who knows, you might even end up partly responsible for curing cancer.