Researchers in the scientific field of SETI received a massive increase in computing power today, when NVIDIA and BOINC released an optimized client that will allow SETI@home to be accelerated on GeForce GPUs. SETI@home, the largest BOINC project with nearly 200,000 active users, searches for extra terrestrial intelligence by using radio telescopes to listen for narrow-bandwidth radio signals from space. The performance of a GeForce GTX 280 GPU running SETI@ is nearly 2 times faster than the fastest consumer multicore CPU (3.2GHz Intel Core i7 965) and almost 10 times faster than an average dual core consumer CPU (2.66 GHz AMD Phenom 9950)(ii).
GPUGRID, the first BOINC project to use NVIDIA GeForce GPUs with CUDA technology for computing, utilizes NVIDIA-based graphics cards in participating PCs to compute high-performance biomolecular simulations for scientific research. Adding support for NVIDIA GPUs resulted in 1000 active GPUs delivering the same amount of computing power as 20,000 CPUs in similar projects, delivering an average speed-up of 20 times.
"The molecular simulations performed by our volunteer computing project are some of the most common types performed by scientists, but they are also some of the most computationally demanding and usually require a supercomputer," stated Dr. Gianni De Fabritiis, researcher at the Research Unit on Biomedical Informatics at the Municipal Institute of Medical Research and Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona. "Running GPUGRID on NVIDIA GPUs innovates volunteer computing by delivering supercomputing class applications on a cost effective infrastructure which will greatly impact the way biomedical research is performed."
NVIDA CUDA technology will soon be powering the third most widely used
BOINC project, Einstein@Home, which uses distributing computing to search
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