PS3 Folding client by the end of March

GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares
edited March 2007 in Science & Tech
Folding@Home, Short-Media's favorite distributed computing project, is coming to a PS3 near you. Folding@Home uses spare CPU cycles to calculate the folding of proteins in the human body with the aim of finding cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. Now, your spare PS3 power won't go to waste either. Sony has revealed that the PS3 Folding client will be made available with the next system software update, which will be released "at the end of March," but is expected on March 23rd.
For images, view on front page
With the update, the Folding client can be run from the network menu of the console's XMB interface. The client can also be set to run automatically when the PS3 is idle. The automatic setting is not on by default, but can be utilized if you keep your PS3 powered on, and its network connected. Users can also enjoy fly through visualization of the proteins being folded, courtesy NVIDIA's RSX graphics chip.

The PS3 client, along with the previously-released GPU client, is part of the Folding project's Petaflop Initiative. It's believed that 10,000 PS3s alone could generate a petaflop of computing performance, which is faster than any currently-operating supercomputer. Considering that the client will be available to any PS3 connected to the Internet, the potential impact on the Folding project is enormous.

Sony has shipped one million PS3s to North America. If just 1% of current North American PS3 owners decide to participate in the Folding project, the petaflop goal will have been reached. The possibilities multiply when you consider sales in Japan, an upcoming release in Europe, and the amount of PS3s that will continue to be sold over the following years. If Sony's claim that the Cell Broadband Engine is approximately ten times faster than a desktop CPU is true, then adding 10,000 PS3s to a project currently made up of around 200,000 computers would increase to total input to the project by 50%.

But that's not the best news. No, the best news is that Short-Media has a Folding Team, and you too can join. PS3s are always welcome.


  • CyrixInsteadCyrixInstead Stoke-on-Trent, England
    edited March 2007
    Oh dear, and just as the world goes environment-crazy, the PS3 will sit there churning out hundreds of Watts of power 24/7...

  • BuddyJBuddyJ Dept. of Propaganda OKC
    edited March 2007
    I think for the SMx project, we should just send people PS3s. You can only fold with them. No watching movies or games. LOL
  • OrianeOriane Turn around.
    edited March 2007
    Well done, Gargoyle- this article just about covers what’s out there. The 23rd date I had also read- it is the European release date- but no one would explicitly tie the two together.

    Set aside the gaming aspect of the PS3 for a moment.

    The PS3 costs about $650US retail (give or take) and is said to consume 380Watts during peak operation.

    However, (based on suggested performance of “10 times that of a standard" PC) it may possibly fold as much as 2 Kentsfield quad-cores- the cheapest of which go for about $850US and consume about 130W each.

    Of course, if you wish to run your Kentsfields, you are also going to need motherboards, memory, PSUs, disk drives … and then you may also wish to play games on at least one system- so figure in the video card X factor too.

    Okay, one system may run you maybe $13-1500 and consume 2-300 Watts?

    So there are some of us who are seriously considering the PS3 as a potential “folding mostly” or “folding only” system. If the numbers pan out, this could be the best fold-for-the-dollar deal out there.

    (visit,ps3-client.html if you become more interested)
  • GargGarg Purveyor of Lincoln Nightmares
    edited March 2007
    Oriane wrote:
    Well done, Gargoyle- this article just about covers what’s out there. The 23rd date I had also read- it is the European release date- but no one would explicitly tie the two together.

    Yeah, I couldn't find anything official that says it will be out on the 23rd, either. I wouldn't be surprised if Sony had the new firmware available on the 23rd, though, so that new European owners can get updated firmware right away. Of course, there's nothing that says they have to give the update to the rest of the world the same day. Sony is probably plenty busy getting PS2 emulation ready for the Euro release. ;)
Sign In or Register to comment.