News

Cleaning up bad SMP A2 WUs.

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
The news is quite good : Peter Kasson is currently running a script server side that is repairing all trajectories affected by the "fold on 1 core" issue (that produces CoreStatus FF errors with 2.10 A2 core and has a ~1.5 MB data file).

To make it simple, the script is removing affected WUs ( "Gen N" WUs) and previous generation WUs ("Gen N-1" WUs) that produced these erroneous WUs. With this script, we should be able to refold those Gen N-1 WUs and then Gen N WUs and thanks to core 2.10 fixes, they should fold fine and keep the trajectories running.

Project 2677 has been cleared and Peter Kasson has a script currently working on Project 2671. Unfortunately, this process is not entirely automated and it doesn't automatically regenerate new WUs. This might cause a temporary shortage of A2 WUs until the rebuild process is completed.

Don't be surprised if you fold some A1 WUs or if you have trouble getting work while the rebuild process is running.

Storage@home project phase 1 released

By , the in Storage@home - No comment
You may be aware of a paper by Adam Beberg published 2 years ago about a project called Storage@home. This project had its initial launch today.

What is Storage@home?
The project has been designed to address the staggering storage needs of Folding@home. The principal idea of Storage@home is to create a distributed storage network which is secure and accessible at all times. Eventually, Folding@home and Storage@home may merge into a single client, to provide both computing power and storage (at the donator's discretion).
An article introducing the project in rather more detail should follow in the next few days.

The first development phase of Storage@home has just been launched. This aims to study the behaviour of machines connected to the internet to determine the algorithms used for storage (breakdown, redundancy, availability).

For all the latest information on the project, we have created new categories for Storage@home for News and Articles.

Adam Beberg (the project's creator) would like to stress that this project is not intended for less technically able users, as you will see for yourself if you read the FAQ and installation instructions, particularly in the requirements for your network. The client will also be updated rapidly in its early stages, so users would need to regularly check if updates have been made available for the client, and of course report any bugs or questions on the official forum.

We will post more information as it becomes available.

More FAH team member profiles added.

By , the in FAH-Addict - No comment
The remaining profiles of members of the Pande Group that were posted by Vijay have been published in the Pande Group Researchers section.

The new members added are
  • Dan Ensign, an all-rounder for the project (and quite a funny guy ;))
  • Relly Brandman, who focuses on the Ribosome tunnel and antibiotics
  • Paula Petrone, another Ribosome tunnel specialist, but also helps to find new ways to speed the MD folding process
  • John Chodera, who helps to upgrade the scientific methods in use by Folding@home
  • Adam Beberg, the primary designer of a lot of the FAH software (for example, the GPU FahCore, and the Cosm library on which the client is based)
  • Edgar Luttmann, who primarily researches Alzheimer's Disease, but has also developed new ways of modeling water in the simulations
  • Vince Voelz, a third Ribosome specialist
  • Jason Wagoner, who develops new ways of modeling water in the simulations with Dr. Luttmann


More introductions will follow as and when they are posted by Vijay ;)

New Mac OS X client posted

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
New Mac OS X client posted
If you are a Mac OS X user, a new Folding@home client has been released for you.

The news for the two previous versions (6.26 and 6.26.1) can be found here.

The new features for v6.26.2 are as follows:
  • The client should now run on both 10.5 Leopard and 10.6 Snow Leopard.
  • Further corrections have been made to the launchd script and installer.
  • Further corrections to the prefpane (courtesy of Calxalot).
  • The system preferences panel should no longer need to restart in 32-bit mode. (for 10.6)


This client is the version with installer that integrates into your OS System preferences, and starts automatically with your OS. To download version 6.26.2, click here.

First benchmarks of Opteron 6000 series

By , the in Hardware - No comment
First benchmarks of Opteron 6000 series
AMD will introduce the Opteron 6000/Magny-Cours series of processors in the first quarter of 2010. These processors will form the foundation for AMD's new professional/server platform called Maranello.

The Opteron 6000 is two Istanbul dies sandwiched side by side, connected by a 6.4GT/s HyperTransport link. They will use the new Socket G34, which will have 4 DDR3 channels (2 per die), and 12MB of L3 cache, although 2MB will be reserved for the intra-CPU HyperTransport link (dubbed "HT-Assist").

These new processors already exist in working form. The prototype tested by PC World and Matbe, runs at 1.7GHz, which seems quite low compared to actual processors, but it should be much quicker in 2010.


Magny-Cours at 3.2GHz!


Their margin for overclocking seems interesting since the test CPU shown has reached 3.2GHz, and the fastest processor sold by AMD is clocked at 3.4GHz.

All of this bodes well and would suggest that when they are released these processors will be excellent for Folding@home, assuming these frequencies become commonplace.

Contributed by: Sun Fact

Source : PCWorld & Matbe (in French)

How many atoms are there in a BigAdv unit?

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
Some of you may have noticed that the Project Summary page is failing to display the atom count for BigAdv units (p268x). If you are wondering how many atoms these units contain then you need wonder no more...

toTOW decided to investigate after reviewing the introduction of Peter Kasson, especially this passage:

Quotation:
Indeed, due to the very large size of lipid vesicle simulations (which can easily be 1 to 10 million atoms in size), the SMP client is extremely important to this research.

He finally found the answer after reviewing a set of log files, which contain details for the researchers (these files are sent back in the results package) which are not printed in FAHlog.txt... the BigAdv units contain at least 1,094,681 atoms!

More information on these projects: they study the process of cell infection by the influenza virus (see description), which involves the fusion of liposomes (the fatty covering of the virus fusing with the fatty covering of the cell being infected). This process is illustrated in the following image:


Liposome fusion



With over a million atoms in the simulation, one can easily understand the need for massive amounts of memory and computing power when processing BigAdv units. The conventional SMP units are comparative featherweights, with a "mere" 147,087 atoms!

Intel's Pine Trail platform to be released in 2010

By , the in Hardware - No comment
Intel's Pine Trail platform to be released in 2010
Originally scheduled for late 2009, the Intel Atom N450 is now going to see the light of day in the first quarter of 2010, at the same time as its big brother, the N470.

The current Intel Atom platform (N2x0 and N3x0 series) is a system comprising 3 chips: the Atom processor, northbridge, comprising the memory controller and graphics, and southbridge, which handles I/O. Pine Trail simplifies this by combining the CPU and northbridge onto one chip, much like the LGA1156/P55 platform for Core. As a result of comprising only two chips, this is expected to significantly decrease the power consumption of the Atom platform.

The Atom N450 and N470 will be clocked at 1.66 and 1.83GHz respectively, and will have onboard memory and graphics controllers. Nevertheless the consumption of the chip is reasonable at a quoted 6.5W. If this is put in the context of the current platform, at 4W for the N230 and 8W for the N330, and above 25W for the i945 northbridge, the gain is enormous. This bodes well for mobile machines based on Pine Trail.

Do not expect great performance in Folding@home, as the Atom processors are still designed primarily to save energy rather than for performance. It should still be possible to fold on these machines however, provided they are run 24/7.

Source : Clubic (in French)

New 34xx Xeon line announced

By , the in Hardware - No comment
New 34xx Xeon line announced
Now that the i5 and i7s have gained a good deal of visibility, a new line of server-focussed CPUs from Intel have appeared; the Xeon 34xx line. These Xeons have a TDP of 95 or 45W, depending on the series (X or L). The clock frequency and general features are much the same as in the consumer lines, with the exception that HyperThreading is usually present in these.

Good news - these new Xeons are designed for socket 1156, which will allow more mainstream systems builders to experiment with and get a taste of these server-grade components, as well as accessing some very flexible overclocking abilities.

More details and prices can be found in the Tom's Hardware France article.

Translator : KaySL

Source: Tom's Hardware France

New Articles: The researchers of the Pande Group

By , the in FAH-Addict - No comment
Today we have added a new category: Pande Group Researchers.

These articles are direct copies of posts on Vijay Pande's official project blog, as the head of the project, to introduce his team. You can learn more about the people behind the projects running on Folding@home, and we hope eventually this will include the entire team. Some members may be independent researchers based away from Stanford and the rest of the group, but all have made significant contributions to the project, and you will probably have heard of them.

We begin on the site today with four members:

Guha Jayachandran, the original developer of the Gromacs core (FahCore_78) and methods for calculating free energies.
Del Lucent, the "Master of Statistics", Chaperonin and Ribosome specialist
Peter Kasson, Mr SMP and a specialist in the process of membrane fusion.
Greg Bowman, a key figure in FAH software and methods development.

Those of you who joined the project in 2007 or earlier will probably have already seen the first three articles, this is aimed more at people who have joined the project since then!

Happy reading!
More members will be added over the next few days.