Distributed computing efforts like SETI@Home and Folding@Home certainly aren't new, and neither is the underlying technology that makes it all possible. But, while distributed computing might seem like yesterday's news to computer enthusiasts, the University of Alberta is just now tapping Canada's unused computing power.
Given Canada's distinct lack of supercomputing power, distributed computing looks like a great way for researchers to crunch numbers.
"We have people in this country who want to do world-class research, but don't have access to world-class computing," Schaeffer said.I suppose if we spent more money on supercomputers, and less on hockey... But seriously, a project like this should encourage researchers in computationally-challenged countries to look at distributed computing for their number-crunching needs.
In fact, all the research computer capacity in Canada, if added together, amounts to less than that found at the University of Southern Florida -- or about one-eighth the power of the newest single supercomputer in Japan, Schaeffer said.
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