Uncharted 4

Sep 25

Folding@home Petaflop Barrier Crossed (Update)

Noam Rimon's Avatar Posted by Noam Rimon on Sep 25, 2007 // Sr. Development Manager SCEA R&D

This post comes on the heels of my previous post, which talked about the crossing of the Petaflop barrier. The influx of gamers supporting this cause has grown so greatly that we’ve actually broken a second record within a week! This time the aggregated computation power of the PS3 consoles — by themselves — has crossed the Petaflop line!

As can be seen from the stats page over at Stanford, PS3 consoles are delivering 1020 TFLOPS (that’s over 1 Petaflop) from 41,145 participants.

I’d like to encourage people that really want to learn more about what Stanford’s doing with Folding@home to read the project director’s blog. He recently blogged about how processors such as the Cell/B.E. can produce that much work for the Folding@home project.

So, for all you Folders out there… how does it feel to be part of the most powerful distributed computer network in the world? :-)


//Add Your Own


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+ Oompa on September 25th, 2007 at 11:44 am said:

First, PS3 cures cancer confirmed


+ terminatorvsmtrx on September 25th, 2007 at 11:45 am said:

we should use these petaflops to take over the world… but on a more serious note, this is freakin impressive


+ Solace on September 25th, 2007 at 11:46 am said:

You should be proud of the contribution to science you’re making; just like I know all of us who are contributing by putting our PS3s to use in our downtime are.
Congrats to you and your team and all of us gamers out there helping on this very noble endeavor.


+ zookey on September 25th, 2007 at 11:48 am said:

That is pretty wicked hehe! You guys should market PS3 way better and use this as one of the marketing points, when you aren’t playing games you are saving the world–kind of an everyday superhero kind of thing!


+ eclipsed4utoo on September 25th, 2007 at 11:49 am said:

neato. good job.


+ Kratos_ate_Snake on September 25th, 2007 at 11:52 am said:

“So, for all you Folders out there… how does it feel to be part of the most powerful distributed computer network in the world? ”

Feels ok… nothing special… not as good as I felt when I saved a puppy from being ran over but whatever.

I would feel a bit better if I had a cookie.


+ sectionz on September 25th, 2007 at 11:53 am said:

Over 500 WUs for both of my PS3s ;). In fact one of them has been ALWAYS on since I bought it .. plays great after all of that too.


+ consoleboi on September 25th, 2007 at 12:02 pm said:

I have a question for you @folded experts.

If you cancel a job, can you resume next time?


+ Kxpuc27 on September 25th, 2007 at 12:02 pm said:

how about you thank us by giving us a LittleBigPlanet demo :p or atleast Uncharted or hell even a idea what system updates add before or within 2 not 173967303 hours after it hits


+ 40cal on September 25th, 2007 at 12:06 pm said:

Holly super computing batman! This is great news for everyone on planet earth. My PS3 folds while I work and sleep.

And how dose it feel? It feels great!


+ frito on September 25th, 2007 at 12:13 pm said:


congrats to everyone!

I hope this technique could be used to increase all our online games somehow, too!

Maybe when everyone is on Home, the power could be used to do stuff there..

just ideas!

cheers to everyone here at the PS3 Blogs!


+ CitizenInsane27 on September 25th, 2007 at 12:17 pm said:

Hells yeah!

Let’s keep it up and help all the people in the world! Woot!


+ Laughed on September 25th, 2007 at 12:18 pm said:

Me too, if that becomes the case it can save the current ps3 lineup and more importantly Heavenly Sword. We’ll cure cancer before that happens.


+ Chef Skillz on September 25th, 2007 at 12:24 pm said:

I am proud to support the Folding@Home project. These stats are mind boggling. This is proof of how powerful the Cell processor is.
It is kind of sad to think that the guys at Stanford have been the best at utilizing the power of the PS3. Game developers, ahem…EA…Ubisoft…take note.


+ tielo on September 25th, 2007 at 12:27 pm said:

Great news. I’m a proud Folder.


+ jpzsports on September 25th, 2007 at 1:03 pm said:

Woohooo!! My team has been a big part of the folding – we have a ton of WUs. Team is 55821 if you wanna join!


+ Ardrid on September 25th, 2007 at 1:07 pm said:

excellent news. I’ve been folding for years, so it’s amazing to see how much processing power the PS3 is contributing to the project. A petaflop in PS3s alone is nothing short of outstanding.


+ nmc75 on September 25th, 2007 at 1:25 pm said:

awesome news! Now, we just have to wait and hear from Stanford and Sony on what they have been able to conclude from all the data.. hopefully some good medicine can be produced from findings in the results.


+ lavell on September 25th, 2007 at 1:28 pm said:



+ nmc75 on September 25th, 2007 at 1:28 pm said:

@ 16, would you say that the PC and Mac users are also doing nothing on their platforms since they also fold@home? Take your ill advised, trollarific statements somewhere where negative people would appreciate it. I play plenty of games on my PS3 and fold when I can and this is indeed a monumental event, one that maybe one day you would understand.


+ Andy D on September 25th, 2007 at 1:31 pm said:

Heh, I have folded 10 times more in the past months on PS3 than years on several PCs in the house.

And that with only leaving it on occasionally between games.


+ Laughed on September 25th, 2007 at 1:50 pm said:

So everyone who has a PS3 uses it fold at home and does nothing else with it. Okay. I buy that. I have 2 PS3’s. One sits on all the time folding. It doesn’t get any use simply because there is nothing to do with it. The other system has an over heating issue and is rarely used for folding. When this system is replaced with a refurb from Sony, it too will fold. In a 24 hour period and out of 2 PS3’s I’ll be lucky if I use one for more than an hour. How many more of ME’s do you think is out there. Hmm, lets take a guess. I’ll say 40K. I’ll also say that when a truely awe inspiring game comes along these 2 PS3’s will be taken off of folding and set to the task they were intended, gaming. Again, how many more ME’s do you think are out there? For that I’ll say 20K. All of this is subjective, just like your well written post. Only difference is that when we do see a AAA title, there will be a decrease on a per user / time period then we are currently seeing. Accept it don’t. I don’t care.

PS I’ve skimmed these posts and I fail to see who has bought a PS3 solely to fold.


+ lakaihigh on September 25th, 2007 at 2:08 pm said:

yeah I’m not gonna lie, I didn’t buy my PS3 to fold, I didn’t even know what it was all about till I did some research on it. I think its awesome that Sony and Stanford have come together to do this. While I haven’t been folding much lately I still do it now and then to help contribute. Congrats to PS3 on its Petaflop!



+ god0fgod on September 25th, 2007 at 2:17 pm said:

Great news except my PS3 crashes when I run the program for a certain amount of time in which corrupt the data. I would like background folding and for it not to crash obviously.


+ Laughed on September 25th, 2007 at 2:31 pm said:

GoG’s: When it crashes what exactly is happening? After it crashes can you immediately play a movie or game? What is the longest period of time you have left your PS3 on whether gaming, watching a movie or otherwise?

My PS3 crashes as well and its attributed to an overheating issue rather than F@H itself. If you bought this at launch, your year is almost up. So you may wanna look further into that and possibly give Sony a call for a swap out refurb.

To test if its overheating, leave the system on for more than 12-24 hours (it doesn’t have to be doing anything), reboot the ps3 and then attempt to play a game and or watch a movie. Let me know how that works out.


+ twiskck on September 25th, 2007 at 2:40 pm said:

well i think this is great i think it would be better to get a 5 minute idle start though just a thought,
on a side note i dont agree with laughed at all, im a very casual gamer im only 15 i bought my ps3 with my brother and since the start if i havent been playing i just quit game then let my idle start up take over which btw is all night, (when most people are sleeping and not playing games just in case you didnt know)


+ sectionz on September 25th, 2007 at 2:55 pm said:

@KingLink: do you not have any stores that sell games by you? Because, how is it that I fold AND i have played about 35+ PS3 games? You should really think about moving or using the internet for shopping for games .. Amazon.com has a pretty decent selection with free shipping.


+ joel on September 25th, 2007 at 3:17 pm said:

Im folding right now!!

I have heavenly sword and warhawk, when I get bored of the only 5 MAPS available of warhawk I start to fold for an hour then head to hevanely sword. After wards back to warhawk, I can be #1 easily, I jipmg, ususally rank at #1 and increase in rank every 3 games(thats how good I am).


+ xplosneer on September 25th, 2007 at 3:22 pm said:

Wait 40,000=1.2PETAFLOP
4 mil/40,000=100

If all PS3’s were running at the same time it would have 120 PETAFLOPS



+ yxxxx on September 25th, 2007 at 3:22 pm said:


It will continue automatically when you start up the program and continue.

However each unit has a 2 day time limit so if you start it and dont complete it in two days all the processing time is wasted.


+ moshakirby on September 25th, 2007 at 3:38 pm said:

Still GPU destroys it for TFlops/unit


+ Neil on September 25th, 2007 at 3:42 pm said:

This is good news. I’m ranked number 2 on my team and I just set folding@home when I’m away from my PS3 for 10 minutes.

To Sony blog: As an aside, I’d like it if there was a way to vote on comments here with a thumbs up or thumbs down a la Youtube. It’d be nice to minimize the spam and off topic remarks here. Of course it such a system was in place this comment would be considered off topic :) but I figured that this is more of a request directed towards the people who run this blog. Thanks and keep up the great work.


+ Cesar on September 25th, 2007 at 4:22 pm said:

I dont know thats good and all but untill we get the A+ games everybody still going to keep talking bad about Sony


+ Jeigh on September 25th, 2007 at 4:25 pm said:

Feels good (says the guy who contributed five minutes in the last month. :P )


+ GamerMan76 on September 25th, 2007 at 4:53 pm said:

consoleboi | September 25th, 2007 at 12:02 pm

I have a question for you @folded experts.

If you cancel a job, can you resume next time?

Answer is each WU has a predetermined expiration date. Depending on what mode you are folding in will determine that time… the majority are 2 days to complete the folding before it expires and is no longer a valid fold.

I fold when I’m at work and when I’m sleeping or spending time with family. I wouldn’t be able to play games during that time anyways and now that I can do it using remote play it’s great cause at work I can stop folding and play some lair or chat with friends online and then go back to FAH.

I don’t understand single-celled minded people in here that don’t comprehend that this isn’t a game. It’s an extra to use, like watching blu-ray movies or playing music or using remote play, it benefits society and apparantly those that do not grasp this concept weren’t ever going to contribute to society in the first place.

I didn’t fold over the summertime cause the room I have my PS3 in is absolutely way to hot for me to bear when playing games… and i didn’t want it stifling because of having it fold.. I wasn’t worried about the PS3.. I was worried about my own comfort. Now that it has cooled off I’m glad to be able to fold again and help towards a good cause.


+ Al2x on September 25th, 2007 at 5:15 pm said:

@49: If you quit during folding, next time you enter F@H, it will resume where you quit.

Say you quit when it said 1 hour left, when you resume 2 days (or whatever the amount of time you take off) later, it’ll still be only 1 hour left.


+ GamerMan76 on September 25th, 2007 at 6:01 pm said:

“Al2x | September 25th, 2007 at 5:15 pm

@49: If you quit during folding, next time you enter F@H, it will resume where you quit.

Say you quit when it said 1 hour left, when you resume 2 days (or whatever the amount of time you take off) later, it’ll still be only 1 hour left.”

Yes you will have 1 hour left but if it is past the expiration that WU is no longer worth the fold and if I remember it will ask if you want to start a new one or continue folding the previous one. Continuing to fold the previous WU will be a waste of your time since the server has already marked it as not returned and either has expired it or sent it to someone else to fold it.


+ Vassago on September 25th, 2007 at 6:36 pm said:

yeaa grats to every one :) so a nice thing to put this feature in our ps3 :)


+ togenshi on September 25th, 2007 at 7:10 pm said:

Just keep in mind that theres a due date to the working units. Eg, you stop folding, a week later it would discard the work. So be sure to finish the unit within 2-3 days. I left my ps3 for like 2 weeks straight folding cause i had no time to play it. So i have no clue how many units its folded. Its so quiet that i never realize its been on.

@Laughed, make your own forum and troll yourself -.-…

Either way, i have 5 ps3 games and countless ps2 games i can play. I arent exactly lacking in games. Give Sony time, i arent crying over it. We kinda our own worse enemy in a way. ingame xmb would probably be out now if it wasnt for the extensive security analysis. With all the code, 1 unsigned line could screw $millions of profit out of sony. If you had some idea of how to efficiently code for a PPC64 arch that has 6-7 cores at your disposal, you would understand how come its taking so long.

It was the same with the ps2. Emotion engine was totally new to people and took awhile of getting used to. Let the ps3 mature. Its only an infant in terms of development. Let the game programmers get used to writing for the ps3 and you will see games coming out in no time.

To fully utilise the ps3, code needs to be directed to the SPE using unique headers(libspe.h, etc, etc) to the ps3/cell arch.

http://cell.fixstars.com/ps3linux/index.php/Libspe:_PS3_Programming_Environment for more info.

To say that your bored with the ps3 means that you have finished oblivion, #1 player in warhawk, finished every rpg on ps3 with 100% completion, finished every fps with all awards means that you seriously have no life. For people that have lives and dont use the ps3 24-7, we fold knowing that the ps3 is doing something useful in the fight against diseases and cancer.

Keep up the good work ppl! 2 petaflops is just around the corner.


+ wolverine81 on September 25th, 2007 at 8:09 pm said:

Glad to see the PS3 setting milestones for a good cause!


+ 40cal on September 25th, 2007 at 8:34 pm said:

@Noam Rimon

I think it would be great to try and organize a time and date for all PS3 Folders to join the same team for one night just to see what we can get done in such a short time span. :)


+ UntoldDreams on September 25th, 2007 at 9:22 pm said:

Petaflop… PS3 is making quite the serious performance jump for Folding@Home. I’m quite surprised at the extent of people willing to donate to charity. It’s a nice thing.


+ 40cal on September 25th, 2007 at 9:55 pm said:

@Noam Rimon

I got out of bed to say this. LOL About #44 we could send out invites on this blog and with the PSN. What do you think?


+ artofwar420 on September 25th, 2007 at 10:23 pm said:

I love that my PS3 can do this, I will contribute more. Gotta get in a team. This story makes me want to contribute more. Sweet news.


+ EvoAnubis on September 26th, 2007 at 3:04 am said:

Just glad I can help. I have my PS3 set so that if I don’t do something with it in half an hour, it just starts Folding. Also if I need to go to a class or close a real estate deal, I set it to Fold until I get back to kick some ass in Warhawk.


+ singularity0821 on September 26th, 2007 at 4:26 am said:

@ topic: it’s great to be part of the F@H project.

off topic: I’ve got a question, since there are so many folders in here: (SCEE support couldn’t help me, and the PS3 forums didn’t provide any answers…)

Every time my PS3 starts folding there is a strange (hissing) noise. It’s not the fan. And it does not appear when F@H is started or is downloading/uploading the package. The noise starts as soon as the actual folding process has began (it doesn’t matter at which level the fans are running).

It stops as soon as I quit folding and doesn’t appear anywhere else – neither while playing games, nor while watching HD movies.

Thanks for your help.


+ prometheus on September 26th, 2007 at 6:08 am said:

great news

@sony and folding team

could it be possible that by folding we can get some kind of credits as reward, so that lets say after half a year or folding we can by an arcade game frome the shop like locoroco…

think if this will be the case the next record will be broken quite fast, since now only 41000 of all PS3 owners are folding


+ djspinal on September 26th, 2007 at 6:55 am said:

dont get me wrong i love the folding project, but i dont like using it, because i should be playing GAMES on my system, but also i like the autostart up function, it would be cool if remote play would auto start, that way i could just turn the system on and it would run remote play AND folding @home automatically, unil that auto start function for remote play comes out i refuse to fold

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