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Icons of Progress

World Community Grid

One of the more remarkable facts about today’s PCs is that they are idle as much as 80% of the time they are turned on. This means the system is drawing power and just waiting for something to do. World Community Grid lets you “volunteer” your extra system resources to provide computing power for important scientific research projects around the world. This once wasted computing capability becomes an enormous virtual supercomputer.

Overcoming the supercomputing cost barrier with distributed computing

A supercomputer—the large computers that provide the computing backbone for many scientific research projects—can cost tens of millions of US dollars. But some of the most important scientific research topics—childhood cancer, HIV/AIDS, world hunger, infectious disease—don’t have the financial backing needed to get supercomputing capability. Combining distributed computing technology and hundreds of thousands of volunteer computers with expertise and a handful of key systems from IBM, World Community Grid overcame this seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Nearly half a million “years” of computer time

With more than 500,000 members and more than 1,500,000 computers connected to the World Community Grid, the computing power available to the humanitarian research is extraordinary. From its inception through the end of December 2010, the grid has provided 445,000 years of computing time, returning half a billion computation results back to researchers. This level of computing power would not be possible without the World Community Grid technology and volunteers.