Santa Clara (CA) - During Nvidia Editor’s Day, we learned that Nvidia and the Folding@Home research group led by Vijay Pande are making final preparation to launch the first version of the Folding@Home client for Nvidia graphics processors.
The unveiling of the client is set for the next week as part of the launch of Nvidia’s GT200 GPU series. Owning such a card will have its benefits in Folding@Home and will outrun Radeon 3870 cards. The new GeForce cards are expected to hit more than 650 nanoseconds of protein simulation in a single day, while the Radeon HD 3870 is stuck at about 170 ns. The Playstation 3 is able to produce "only" 100 ns of simulation, while a quad-core CPU creates an output of just four nanoseconds. For those who are keeping count: The GeForce GPU will be about 163 times faster than a quad-core processor in this specific application.
Nvidia founded Team "Whoopass", which consists only of several computers that are running the Folding@Home GPU client. Even with just 4-5 test machines, the team quickly moved into the top 5% of all contributors by sheer processing power. Dr. Vijay told us that if only 1% of all CUDA-capable users would start using Folding@Home in their spare time, the Folding@Home machine would quickly be considered the fastest performing HPC computer in the whole world - hitting about 60-80 Peta FLOPS of processing power.
Folding@Home for Nvidia CUDA-capable graphics cards (GeForce 8 and above) should become available next week. The codename for this client is GPU2/NVIDIA. The GPU1 client was retired, while GPU2 client will continue to be updated for both Nvidia and ATI cards.
ATI was first with a client for the Folding@Home project, which was released back in September of 2006 for the X1900 series of cards. Back then, the cards topped out at 375 GFlops. The next GPU generation should provide more than double the horsepower.