Folding@home clocks up a million PS3 users

Folding@home clocks up a million PS3 users

Two new registered users sign up every minute

Sony Computer Entertainment has announced that Stanford University's Folding@home project has clocked up over a million registered users since the PlayStation 3 took part in March 2007.

This equates to roughly 3,000 PS3 users registering for Folding@home per day, or two new registered users every minute worldwide.

Folding@home makes use of the distributed computing power of personal computers and PS3s from around the world.

The network of roughly 10,000 PS3s can accomplish the same amount of work as an average network of 100,000 PCs, and has the ability to perform research simulations in weeks rather than years.

It took just six months after PS3 joined for the project to surpass the petaflop computing milestone that had never been reached before by a distributed computing network.

Folding@home was recognised by Guinness World Records in September 2007 as the world's most powerful distributed computing network.

Sony said that PS3 users make up approximately 74 per cent of the total petaflop computing power of the Folding@home project.

"Since partnering with Sony, we have seen our research capabilities increase by leaps and bounds through the continued participation of Folding@home users," said Vijay Pande, associate professor of chemistry at Stanford and Folding@home project lead.

"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."

Folding@home aims to understand protein folding and misfolding, and how these are related to diseases and many forms of cancer.

When proteins do not fold correctly, there can be serious consequences, including many well-known diseases such as Alzheimer's, Huntington's, Parkinson's, and many cancers and cancer-related syndromes.