Nvidia speeds up search for a cure
Dubai, July 29, 2008
Stanford University’s distributed computing programme Folding@home has become a major force in researching cures to life-threatening diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, and Parkinson’s disease by combining the computing horsepower of millions of processors to simulate protein folding.
The Folding@home project is the latest example in the expanding list of non-gaming applications for graphics processing units (GPU).
Proteins assemble themselves through a process biologists call ’folding.’
By running the Folding@home client on an Nvidia, GeForce, GPU, protein-folding simulations can be done 140 times faster than on some of today’s traditional CPUs.
’The impact of GeForce GPUs on protein folding simulations was immediate and dramatic,’ said Vijay Pande, associate professor of chemistry, Stanford University and director of the Folding@home project.
’Teams that are folding with GeForce GPUs are seeing their production skyrocket. Applying that kind of processing power to Folding@home changes the whole dynamic of the project and could significantly reduce the time it takes to carry out our biomedical research.’
The Folding@home project has amassed a large following of computer enthusiasts who compete in teams to churn through as many data units as possible.
Their unofficial stats are organised by and displayed at ExtremeOverclocking.com. It took the Nvidia internal folding team only two weeks to move ahead of 90 per cent of all teams, using only 10 machines. After expanding the team to include more GPUs, the Nvidia team has moved inside the top 0.1 per cent of teams in all-time total production in less than a month.
Other folding teams are also seeing their status rise as a result of the Nvidia Folding@home client.
’We saw the completed work double for our PC Games Hardware Folding team as a result of many team members installing the Nvidia Folding client,’ said Carsten Spille, editor at PC Games Hardware.
’We are passing many teams every day and we have finally reached our goal of being one of the top 100 folding teams in the world.’
Nvidia (Nasdaq: NVDA) is the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, a high-performance processor which generates breathtaking, interactive graphics on workstations, personal computers, game consoles, and mobile devices.
Headquartered in Santa Clara, California, it has offices throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Nvidia’s inaugural Nvision 08 conference will be held August 25 to 27, 2008 in San Jose, California. - TradeArabia News Service