Since last week I have 1 BOINC project with over 10k credits – yay. This project is Einstein@Home, which is a distributed computing project hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and running on the BOINC software platform. It searches through data from the LIGO experiment for evidence of gravitational waves from continuous wave sources, which may include pulsars. Like the other projects I’m participating in, which are Milyway@home and SETI@home, I’ve been a participant for about 2 and a half months now.
What is Boinc? The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a non-commercial middleware system for volunteer and grid computing. It was originally developed to support the SETI@home project before it became useful as a platform for other distributed applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, and astrophysics. The intent of BOINC is to make it possible for researchers to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world.
In essence BOINC is software that can use the unused CPU and GPU cycles on a computer to do scientific computing—what one individual doesn’t use of his/her computer, BOINC uses. In late 2008, BOINC’s official website announced that NVIDIA (a leading GPU manufacturer) had developed a system called CUDA that uses GPUs for scientific computing. With NVIDIA’s assistance, some BOINC-based projects (e.g., SETI@home, Milkyway@home) now have applications that run on NVIDIA GPUs using CUDA. Beginning in October 2009, BOINC added support for the ATI/AMD family of GPUs also. These applications run from 2X to 10X faster than the former CPU-only versions.
(Above text comes from the English Wikipedia.)
I’m participating in these programs cause I refuse to be part of the “let’s waste ~80% of our CPU time” attitude most people sadly enough have.