Folding@Home, a crowdsourced computing project from scientists at Stanford University lets people across world join computing capabilities of their personal computers to form a crowdsourced supercomputer. Folding@Home then carries out research, mostly on diseases like Cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and now COVID-19. With the coronavirus outbreak, Folding@Home comes as a platform that will allow people across the world to play their part. By lending computing powers from their PCs, people can help scientists speed up their research as they have shifted their focus towards coming up with a cure for the deadly pandemic that has sent the whole world in a lockdown.
Folding@Home allows users across the world to lend the spare GPU and CPU cycles on their personal computers to the scientists working on coronavirus research. According to a Toms Hardware blog, people have already come together in massive numbers to provide support to Folding@Home as the network has passed one exaFLOP of computing power. One exaFLOP of computing power means one billion operations per second. To put it in perspective, this makes the network ten times more powerful than the world's most advanced supercomputer, the IBM Summit. Further, the Folding@Home network is now more powerful than the top 103 supercomputers in the world, combined.
Thanks to our AMAZING community, we've crossed the exaFLOP barrier! That's over a 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second, making us ~10x faster than the IBM Summit! pic.twitter.com/mPMnb4xdH3— Folding@home (@foldingathome) March 25, 2020
Only last week, it was reported that the Folding@Home project reached 470 PetaFLOPS of computing power, driven by a 1,200 percent spike in volunteers due to the coronavirus outbreak.
According to a report in Forbes, the 470 PetaFLOPS power was reached after more than 4,00,000 people volunteered to lend their CPU and GPU power. This development was also tweeted by Folding@Home lead Dr. Greg Bowman. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, Folding@Home had roughly 30,000 users globally, according to the report.
Amazing! @foldingathome now has over 470 petaFLOPS of compute power. To put that in perspective, that's more than 2x the peak performance of the Summit super computer!— Greg Bowman (@drGregBowman) March 20, 2020
People can help battle COVID-19 by simply installing the Folding@Home application on their computers and running the software that will lend the spare CPU and GPU cycles to the researchers. Here's how:
1. Go to the official Folding@Home website.
2. Click Start Folding Now on the homepage. It will take you to another page.
3. Click the Download Now button. You will be redirected to https://foldingathome.org/start-folding/.
4. The download page will show the compatible download for your computer's operating system.
5. Install the Folding@home software and you can start contributing the computing power from your machine.
How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.