"Since partnering with SCEI, 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 University 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 disease, and many cancers and cancer-related syndromes.
Prior to the inclusion of PS3 in March 2007, the Folding@home project leveraged the distributed computing power of personal computers from around the world. Now a network of roughly 10,000 PS3s can accomplish the same amount of work as a network of 100,000 PCs, and have the ability to perform research simulations in weeks rather than years. In fact, it took just six months after PS3 joining Folding@home for the project to surpass a petaflops, a computing milestone that had never been reached before by a distributed computing network. On September 16, 2007, Folding@home was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world's most powerful distributed computing network.
Currently PS3 users make up approximately 74 percent of the total teraflop computing power of the Folding@home project.