Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Intel & Facebook

Intel introduces distributed computing to Facebook

Intel has announced a new partnership designed to increase the prominence of volunteer grid computing. Its new Progress Through Processors program will see the chipmaker partner with Facebook and GridRepublic to promote several of the projects that are run through BOINC, a distributed computing client that runs during idle time on volunteers' machines. Although there are a whole host of projects that can be run through the BOINC interface, Intel has chosen to focus on three: Rosetta@home,, and Africa@home.

The technology behind the endeavor is fairly well established. BOINC, run out of the University of California, Berkeley and supported by the National Science Foundation, was developed in response to the success of several early distributed computing projects, most notably SETI@home. It's designed to provide a single piece of client software that runs while a user's machine is idle. Different projects can provide computational engines that are loaded and run by the BOINC client. The single client infrastructure is intended to make it easier for individual projects to roll out updated software and for users to divide their machine's time among multiple worthy projects.

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