May
23
2005

Put your home computer to powerful use


LIGOCourtesy NASA

Most home computers almost never employ their full processing power during their normal day-to-day operation. Distributed computing is a way of using the spare processing power from personal computers to solve large problems. The large problem is broken down into smaller parts and these parts are distributed to home computers to solve. The results are then sent back and combined into a solution for the larger problem.

Using the spare processing power of home computers is a powerful tool. The current most powerful supercomputer, IBM's Blue Gene/L clocks out over 70 trillion calculations per second; while 500,000 home computers running a distributed computing project can top 100 trillion calculations per second.

The most popular example of distributing is the [email protected] project, which analyzes data from the Arecibo radio telescope to search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

One of the most recent distributed computing projects is [email protected], which searches for spinning neutron stars (or pulsars) using data from the LIGO and GEO gravitational wave detectors.

You can help search for extraterrestrial life, spinning neutron stars, help design a particle accelerator, predict Earth's climate and more by visiting the distributed computing info website.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Great info on computers

posted on Thu, 05/26/2005 - 7:34am

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