Coronavirus Pushes Folding@Home’s Operations To Exaflop Levels

Folding@Home, a distributed computing project, on Thursday announced that it has “crossed the exaFLOP barrier,” which is equal to ten times the computing power of the world’s fastest supercomputer, IBM’s Summit.  

“Thanks to our AMAZING community, we’ve crossed the exaFLOP barrier! That’s over 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 operations per second, making us ~10x faster than the IBM Summit!,” Folding@home announced on Twitter.

Currently, the cumulative compute performance of systems participating in the project has exceeded 1.5 ExaFLOPS or 1,500,000,000,000,000,000 floating-point operations per second.

Launched in 2000, Folding@Home, a crowdsourced project run by Stanford University brings together citizen scientists around the world who volunteer to run simulations of protein dynamics by using the underutilized GPU and CPU of personal computers of people worldwide to form a crowdsourced supercomputer. 

The project then carries out researches to fight and find cures to diseases like Cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, Influenza, and many more. 

With the coronavirus outbreak, Folding@Home is now serving as a platform for more than half a million devices across the world to help scientists speed up their research in finding potential cures for the novel COVID-19.

How Does Folding@Home Work? 

Folding@Home runs in the background and uses spare GPU and CPU cycles of personal computers of people globally to run simulations of protein dynamics to better understand them and find cures for various diseases, in this case, COVID-19. 

The past few weeks has seen a huge increase in the number of people lending their support to the Folding@Home project to do their bit to fight the coronavirus pandemic. 

Last week, the Folding@Home project reached 470 PetaFLOPS of computing power, which is more than 2x the peak performance of the Summit supercomputer. 

The 470 PetaFLOPS was achieved after more than 4,00,000 people offered to lend their CPU and GPU power, a development also tweeted by Folding@Home lead, Dr. Greg Bowman.


Bowman also publicly shared some of the results of those simulations on Twitter.

According to a Forbes report, Folding@Home had roughly 30,000 users around the world before the COVID-19 outbreak. 

How Can You Help The Folding@Home Project?

To put your PC to work to battle COVID-19, all you need to do is go to the Folding@home website and download the software for whatever platform you are on, to lend your computer’s spare CPU and GPU cycles to the researchers. 

The software is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. For detailed information on how to install the Folding@home software, you can check for Windows, Mac, and Linux on the site.  

For more information on the Folding@Home Project, you can click on FAQ about the SARS-CoV-2 projects in Folding@home. You can also read updates on Folding@home’s news page 

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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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