AHN - USA
Miami, FL (AHN) - Researchers and Harvard University and IBM are hoping to harness the power of 1 million idle personal computers to develop a revolutionary form of solar energy.
The program uses IBM's World Community Grid, a network of volunteers' computers that the company taps into to run calculations that can significantly shorten research time of projects. Harvard and IBM officials say the program could potentially reduce the research time of some projects from 22 years to two.
"Grid technology harnesses unused cycle time - the computing time - of individual PCs, and groups of them together form a virtual supercomputer," Stanley Litow, IBM's vice president of corporate affairs told the Financial Times.
The World Community grid is running an average of 179 Teraflops, about the equivalent of the world's 11th most powerful supercomputer.
When volunteer grid members go idle, instead of a screen saver coming on their screens, the grid takes over.
IBM began the World Community Grid five years ago, and it is already being used on research for AIDS and cancer.