Sony PS3 joins Stanford University's Folding@home research program

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fah_us_night_c.jpgWe gave you ten ways to justify spending £425 on a PS3 last week, but if you need more, how about helping cure Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s disease or cystic fibrosis?

Sony has announced that the next PS3 system update will include a tie-in with Stanford University’s Folding@home project, which does just that. It’s a distributed computing project that uses idle PCs’ processing power around the world to number-crunch research into protein folding, misfolding and related diseases.

Apparently, PS3’s Cell/B.E. processor is around ten times faster than what you’d find in an average PC, so users who sign up will be doing even more good. Folding@home will be part of the next PS3 system software update, which is due to be available at the end of March (although it’s possible it’ll be preloaded on consoles here on Europe).

The Folding@home icon will appear on the Network menu of PS3’s XrossMediaBar (translation: menu), and can be set to run automatically whenever the console is idle and connected to the network.

What’s more, this probably isn’t the last distributed computing project the PS3 will be capable of helping – Sony says it will continue to support this kind of research in a variety of areas, including social sciences and environmental studies. In the meantime, even if you don’t have a PS3, you can download the Folding@home PC client via the link below.

Folding@home website

Stuart Dredge