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GPUs advance scientific research projects

 A number of scientific research projects at Berkeley's Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) are being enhanced through the use of GPUs from Nvidia.

Once thought of as a technology used only for computer games, Nvidia GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs) with Cuda technology are now being used for the serious business of scientific computation. Berkeley's Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), one of the leading distributed computing platforms in the world, is using Cuda technology to tap the massively parallel processing power of Nvidia GPUs with astounding results that could change the pace of scientific discovery through projects like GPUGRID and Einstein@home. The latest breakthrough came with the release of an optimised client that will allow SETI@home to analyse SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) data in about one-eighth of the time it previously took using CPUs.

'Nvidia Cuda technology opens up processing power for scientific research that was previously unavailable and impossible for researchers to afford,' said Dr David Anderson, research scientist at UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory and founder of BOINC. 'Cuda technology makes it easy for scientists and researchers to optimise BOINC projects for Nvidia GPUs and they are already using it for applications in molecular dynamics, protein structure prediction, climate and weather modelling, medical imaging, and many other areas.'

BOINC is a unique approach to supercomputing in which multiple consumer computers are joined together over the internet and their combined computing power is used to tackle very large computational tasks. BOINC provides the distributed computing grid layer for a wide variety of scientific projects that work to help cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research on home PCs.

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