Folding@Home (also known as FAH or F@H) is a distributed computing project designed to perform computationally intensive simulations of protein folding and other molecular dynamics. It was launched on October 1, 2000, and is currently managed by the Pande Group, within Stanford University’s chemistry department, under the supervision of Professor Vijay Pande. Folding@home is the most powerful distributed computing cluster in the world, according to Guinness, and one of the world’s largest distributed computing projects.The goal of the project is “to understand protein folding, misfolding, and related diseases.” Check it out. Start donating today
How it works.
Folding@Home does not rely on powerful supercomputers for its data processing; instead, the primary contributors to the Folding@home project are many hundreds of thousands of personal computer users who have installed a small client program. The client will, at the user’s choice, run in the background, utilizing otherwise unused CPU power, or run as a screensaver only while the user is away. In most modern personal computers, the CPU is rarely used to its full capacity at all times; the Folding@Home client takes advantage of this unused processing power.
The Folding@Home client periodically connects to a server to retrieve “work units,” which are packets of data upon which to perform calculations. Each completed work unit is then sent back to the server. As data integrity is a major concern for all distributed computing projects, all work units are validated through the use of a 2048 bit digital signature.
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