Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
Tokyo, April 25, 2007 – SSony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) today announced that PLAYSTATION®3 (PS3™) computer entertainment systems will have the capability to connect to Stanford University’s Folding@home program, a distributed computing project aimed at understanding protein folding, misfolding and related diseases. Stanford University is leveraging PS3’s powerful Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.) – and what will be an even more powerful distributed supercomputing network of PS3 systems – to help study the causes of diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cystic fibrosis and many cancers.
Because the process of folding proteins is so complex, computers are used to perform simulations to study the process. Since these simulations can take up to 30 years for a single computer to complete, Folding@home enables this task to be shared among thousands of computers connected via the network, utilizing distributed computing technology. Once the data is processed, the information is sent back via the Internet to the central computer.
The Cell/B.E. processor inside each PS3 is roughly 10 times faster than a standard mainstream chip inside a personal computer (PC), so researchers are able to perform the simulations much faster, speeding up the research process.
"Millions of users have experienced the power of PS3 entertainment. Now they can utilize that exceptional computing power to help fight diseases," said Masayuki Chatani, Corporate Executive and CTO Computer, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. "In order to study protein folding, researchers need more than just one super computer, but the massive processing power of thousands of networked computers. Previously, PCs have been the only option for scientists, but now, they have a new, more powerful tool—PS3."
"We´re thrilled to have SCE be part of Stanford University´s Folding@home project," said Vijay Pande, Associate Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University and Folding@home project lead. "With PS3 now part of our network, we will be able to address questions previously considered impossible to tackle computationally, with the goal of finding cures to some of the world´s most life-threatening diseases."
With the latest system software update expected to become available at the end of March, Folding@home icon will be added to the Network menu of the XMB™ (XrossMediaBar). PS3 users can join the program by simply clicking on the Folding@home icon or optionally set the application to run automatically whenever PS3 is idle(*1).
Starting with Folding@home, SCE will continue to support distributed computing projects in a wide variety of academic fields such as medical and social sciences and environmental studies through the use of PS3 and hopes to contribute to the advancement of science.
(*1) To run the application automatically in idle state, PS3 must be connected to the network with both main power switch and power button turned on. Option setting must also be changed as this automatic feature is off at default.
(*2) For more information, please see official website (http://www.scei.co.jp/folding/en/).
Recognized as the global leader and company responsible for the progression of consumer-based computer entertainment, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) manufacturers, distributes and markets the PlayStation® game console, the PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the PSP® (PlayStation®Portable) handheld entertainment system and the upcoming, much-anticipated PLAYSTATION®3 system. PlayStation has revolutionized home entertainment by introducing advanced 3D graphic processing, and PlayStation 2 further enhances the PlayStation legacy as the core of home networked entertainment. PSP is a new handheld entertainment system that allows users to enjoy 3D games, with high-quality full-motion video, and high-fidelity stereo audio. PLAYSTATION 3 is an advanced computer system, incorporating the state-of-the-art Cell processor with super computer like power. SCEI, along with its subsidiary divisions Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd., and Sony Computer Entertainment Korea Inc. develops, publishes, markets and distributes software, and manages the third party licensing programs for these platforms in the respective markets worldwide. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. is an independent business unit of the Sony Group.
PlayStation, PLAYSTATION and PSP are registered trademarks and PS3, Cell Broadband Engine and XMB are trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.
Readers are advised that the press releases and other information posted on this site are current only on their original publication date. Please note that such press releases and other information may now be outdated or rendered inaccurate due to passage of time or subsequent material changes in facts and circumstance.