[email protected], a project that uses donated CPU power to research cures for medical problem such as Alzheimer’s disease, has announced a PS3 initiative.

Thanks to software help from Sony, the project will be able to run on PS3 systems, enabling gamers to put their idle consoles to good use.

This advance utilizes the new Cell processor in Sony’s PLAYSTATION 3 (PS3) to achieve performance previously only possible on supercomputers. With this new technology (as well as new advances with GPUs), we will likely be able to attain performance on the 100 gigaflop scale per computer. With about 10,000 such machines, we would be able to achieve performance on the petaflop scale. With software from Sony, the PlayStation 3 will now be able to contribute to the [email protected] project, pushing [email protected] a major step forward.

The system will also make use of the PS3’s graphical capabilities, displaying the actual folding process in real-time using High Dynamic Range lighting and ISO surface rendering. Users will be able to navigate a 3D space to view a graphical representation of the work being done by their machines.

Video demonstrations and images can be viewed at the official site.

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