Beating the world wide Coronavirus requires a lot of computing power, and if there is one thing the world currently has a lot of, it’s computer power from PCs sitting idle or not doing very much.
Stanford University is using “distributed computing” to help solve protein folding puzzles, that will help with the development of drugs to work against COVID-19, through the Folding@Home project.
This gamification of research splits the workload up into small pieces and people can download a bit of software to their computers to grab a small piece of this work, compute it locally on their PCs and send it back to Stanford. In this way, thousands of computers all over the world are helping to find a cure.
As we have a computer room with five quick workstations, we’ve put them all to work folding proteins to help with this challenge, along with our Head of Engineering’s desktop doing the same. We have an official Sensor City folding team, and in a small way we’re doing our bit to help!
Both the Central Processing Units (CPU) and Graphics Processing Units (GPU) are at work, so they are able to work on two projects simultaneously. The processors aren’t used exclusively, but rather take about 10% duty cycle to run their calculations, which won’t have a huge knock on effect to electricity consumption.
Our team of busy computer protein folders has been working hard and we’re now in the top 10,000 contributors globally. They’ve completed over 700 work units so far and are expected to complete many more over the coming days.
If you’d like to get involved and contribute to the global efforts to find a cure for this pandemic, visit folding@home for more information.