Intel helps build P2P 'supercomputer' to fight cancer

Intel said yesterday it has partnered with medical research groups and software maker United Devices on a project that uses peer-to-peer (P2P) computing to help advance the development of drugs for treating cancer and other diseases.

          Intel said yesterday it has partnered with medical research groups and software maker United Devices on a project that uses peer-to-peer (P2P) computing to help advance the development of drugs for treating cancer and other diseases.

          Intel has been a big proponent of P2P which, in one of its many forms, makes use of computing resources sitting idle in thousands of networked computers to solve complex problems. Intel predicted that the project announced yesterday will attract millions of volunteers and create a "virtual supercomputer" that can perform at teraflop speeds, or trillions of operations per second.

          The project is part of Intel's new Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer Program. It is a joint effort with The American Cancer Society, the National Foundation for Cancer Research and research groups, Intel said in a statement.

          To take part, users download a free software application from United Devices that includes a small part of a larger problem that medical researchers need to solve. The application runs in the background on a user's PC whenever resources are available, and typically takes a day or two to complete. At the end, the results are uploaded automatically to a datacentre and the application downloads another part of the problem.

          Information about how to participate, along with details about Intel's Philanthropic Peer-to-Peer program, are on Intel's website.

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