PlayStation 3 joins Folding@Home

  • Stanford (CA) - PlayStation 3 owners will soon be able to help find the cure for Alzheimer's and other diseases with a new Folding@Home plugin. Sony is partnering up with Stanford's protein folding project and will be releasing a software update later this month that will use idle processor cycles to discover viable protein shapes.

    Sony claims the PlayStation 3's Cell chip is up to 10 times faster than a personal computer which could significantly help the effort. Masayuki Chatani, corporate executive and CTO of Sony Computer Entertainment says, "Previously, PCs have been the only option for scientists, but now, they have a new, more powerful tool."

    Sony says the new software update will put a Folding@Home item in the network menu of the media bar. Users can run the project by clicking the icon or by setting it to run when the PlayStation 3 is idle. The idle running of Folding@Home will only work if the game console is plugged into the network.

    The Folding@Home project uses the idle processor cycles of thousands of computers to solve complicated folding tasks. The results are uploaded to a central mainframe and analyzed by scientists.