3D, Graphics, Hardware, Software Programs

Nvidia to bring SLI support for Folding@Home

Friends from Bjorn3D got the opportunity to interview Michael Steele, General Manager of Nvidia’s Visual Consumer Solutions group. Short explanation of Michael’s role would be Nvidia’s head for all-not-gaming-related things.

The interview was focusing on Bjorn3D’s noteworthy Folding@Home effort (the team is on track to crack into Top100), thus Michael gave some interesting thoughts, such as this one.

There are a lot of very good guides out there that will walk users through the required steps to fold with multiple GPUs like the ones on HardOCP or overclockers.co.uk, just not in SLI mode yet.
NVIDIA SLI is a great extension to parallel processing and we’re looking at methods to take advantage of it with Folding@home. Stay tuned.

As you can read for yourself, there is a lot of things that Nvidia wants to do with Folding@Home. ATI is currently working on own reshuffling, but at the end of the day, whoever makes the best GPU for protein folding, always have a higher goal in your mind.
In my own opinion, Folding@Home is purest form of “pay it forward”, because GPUs helped scientists to accelerate their research measured in human generations. Couple of months ago, I spoke to Vijay and he said that GPU’s accelerated the protein research by some 30 years. Let’s hope that ATI and Nvidia can decrease that by additional 20-30-40 years to real-time levels.
Currently, most powerful ATI and Nvidia GPUs are folding in the range of 300-600 nanoseconds/day. Achieving a second per day is something I am looking forward to. In 10 years time, we’ll hopefully be at 1 hour of protein life/day on GPUs.
Just to help you calculate, 1TFLOPS of computing power would calculate 1 milisecond of protein life PER DAY. For one second of protein life per day, we need 1PFLOPS. Thus, even PFLOPS GPUs could not calculate real-time.
Anyways, you can read the interview here, and regardless of where you are, I am inviting you to join Folding@Home project. My team number is 69864, but you’re more than welcome to join any team, or even stay outside teams. But we need your idle computing power. If you feel up to contributing a little, consider Folding@Home.