Happy New Year! Time to take stock... and look forward to 2011!

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
OK so we were a bit late translating this news and its already the 4th of January. However, we wish you all a belated happy new year and hope you haven't failed your resolutions yet ;)

A new year means it is time to look back at what the project has achieved over the previous year, and whether we predicted the year correctly.


How did we do with our predictions for 2010?


2010: Year of the v5 server code: Correct: (OK this wasn't exactly the hardest prediction to make we admit)
The vast majority of the project's servers have now been switched to the much more reliable v5 server code, meaning fewer dropouts (once some teething problems were ironed out). Some servers even began migrating to the further improved v6 server code in the later stages of the year.

A new, more reliable statistics system: Correct
With both new hardware and new software, the statistics system underwent a major revamp in 2010, and most statistics features that had been deactivated are now enabled once again. Combined with some rather more aggressive IP banning by Stanford University, this has resulted in a major performance boost.

The launch of the long-awaited brand new client: Wrong
The v7 client did not make an appearance in 2010, so unfortunately our prediction that it would was proved wrong. However, the v6 client made some important leaps, particularly the abandoning of MPI for the SMP client, helping to make the project easier to contribute to.

A new version of the Assignment Server (AS) code: Correct
While not visible to donors, the code that the ASes run has been updated. As it is impossible to be assigned work without first being referred to a work server by the AS, the improved reliability of the ASes has helped to reduce headaches for donors.

The GPU3 client to reach maturity: Kind of...
In terms of the algorithms needed to make this happen, OpenMM on CUDA is ready and is being used as a kind of GPU2.5 client for nVidia GPUs (as it stands it is the only way to fold using Fermi cards). Unfortunately OpenMM on OpenCL is not quite ready, despite the fact that it is desperately needed by ATI users to replace the current ATI core.

SMP2 making its appearance: Correct
SMP2 has rapidly replaced SMP and added much to the project: more reliability, more speed, Windows compatibility, simpler operation, the latest Gromacs developments... but we have lost Linux BigAdv!

SMP2 to gain more cores: Wrong
Desmond has not yet appeared. 2011?

So 2010 has been a big year for development behind the scenes at folding@home, but SMP2 excepted, not much of a revolution for users.

Consulting FAH-Addict's crystal ball...


2011 year of v7: this time for sure! The key word: usability.
2011 year of GPU3 on ATI: OpenCL should finally bring up the goods and allow GPU3 on ATI.
2011 year of BigAdv Linux: we predict that the bug that is currently preventing BigAdv on Linux will be fixed this year, allowing it to return. We certainly hope so :P