How You Can Help Fight COVID-19 With This Global Open Source Tool

Folding@Home has crossed one exaFLOP computing power due to contributions from across the globe.

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How You Can Help Fight COVID-19 With This Global Open Source Tool

Before the coronavirus outbreak, Folding@Home had only 30,000 users globally

Highlights
  • Folding@Home is an initiative of scientists from Stanford University
  • Folding@Home allows users to lend spare CPU and GPU cycles on their PC
  • The network is 10 times more powerful than world’s top supercomputer

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

How can you help?

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.

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