News

ATI/AMD GPU support in FAH, and what awaits with Core 16

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
The project team is currently working on improved support for AMD and ATI GPUs. Originally, the Brook programming language was used to program on GPUs, but AMD have decided to support just OpenCL and drop all support for Brook. This has meant that the core has had to be completely rewritten to use OpenCL instead of Brook. This was a huge challenge, but that project is now bearing fruit (see the OpenMM site for more information). Because of AMD's decision to abandon support for Brook in favour of OpenCL, future developments of the AMD/ATI core will be made for OpenCL only, and will only run on graphics cards that support OpenCL.

This means that some currently supported cards will drop out of the project, as follows:
  • HD2xxx and HD3xxx series do not support OpenCL and thus will not be supported once FAHcore 11 is mothballed.
  • HD4xxx series is able to execute OpenCL code but lacks some hardware features necessary to make the new code run at an efficient speed, and so will also not be supported by the new core.
  • HD5xxx and HD6xxx series support the full range of necessary OpenCL functions, and will be fully supported by the new core.

In the short term, both FAHcore 11 and FAHcore 16 will be used in parallel so as not to leave people in the lurch. Unfortunately this situation cannot last forever, and support for FAHcore 11 is scheduled to end on September 1st 2011. This date may be postponed, but there is no guarantee that will happen. Stopping support of a platform is obviously never a popular decision, but in this instance the project has been left with little choice due to AMD ending support for the older cards.

The good news is that AMD/ATI is heavily involved in supporting OpenCL and the Pande Group are very excited by the prospects of the new core. This core will be released publicly after the release of the v7 client, which is necessary to run the new core.

Source : Vijay's blog

Elledan's Appeal!

By , the in FAH-Addict - No comment
Hello, Folders!

I come to discuss an appeal launched by one of our Dutch members, Elledan, known on Twitter as Maya Posch.

Maya is Dutch. She was born with a genetic disorder which means she is physically neither male nor female. She is intersex, and has elected for a female lifestyle. Her genetic defect causes numerous medical complications (you can read all about these in detail on her website) and her medical bills are often very high. Maya must take some medical tests shortly - expensive and costing around €1100 - but her private health insurance and the Netherlands' social security have both neglected to provide her aid.

Today, a very generous donor sent her enough money to cover the main test, but there are others she must still pay for.

If you are able to provide Maya with any help, no matter how small, I'm sure she would greatly appreciate and be better off for it.

Thanks for your consideration!

State of the v7 client

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
A lot of work on the v7 client has been quietly been going on behind the scenes. The development process has taken longer than expected, but Vijay Pande settles for nothing less than 100% completion. The developer in charge of writing the new client, Joseph Coffland, has been working hard to add new features and eliminating bugs reported by the testers. The details are many, and too numerous to detail here, so we invite you to read the full changelog, which is linked to below. This will give you a good idea of ​​the client's development process.

Joe and Vijay believe that a public release is near, and if the internal testing of version 7.1.18 goes well, it will become the base used for the client's public beta.

Source: Vijay Pande's Blog

New BigAdv-optimised Linux kernel available

By , the in OS - 4 Comments
New BigAdv-optimised Linux kernel available
Here is the second edition of our FAH-optimized kernel all you BigAdv addicts, based on version 2.6.37 of the Linux kernel. Frodo, our optimisation wizard, has hand-tailored this version specially for Intel Core machines.

List of features:
  • Special optimisations to take full advantage of Intel Core 2 / Core iX processor capabilities
  • Preemption mode enabled
  • 100Hz kernel timer
  • Scaling to support an unlimited number of CPUs
  • Performance mode (forces the i7's turbo mode to always be active)

Download 64-bit kernel DEB file
Download 64-bit kernel headers DEB file

Warning: Don't use this kernel if you're running a GPU client; this is meant purely for dedicated machines running only the CPU clients.

Please remember that this kernel is provided without any guarantees from the FAH-Addict team. It was tested on an Ubuntu 10.10 machine, and should work fine on Debian systems. We can't be held responsible for any issues caused, however unlikely. Install it only if you're capable of repairing your machine, or reinstalling your OS. Do not install on a production machine.

The bonus system is being tested on uniprocessor clients

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
As you probably know, the SMP2 and bigadv sections of the project have been subject to a quick return bonus, where points are awarded on an exponentially increasing scale for fast returns of units.

The system is currently being tested on a limited number of uniprocessor projects with a view to potentially rolling it out to all uniprocessor projects too. Currently the only uniprocessor projects subject to the QRB are projects 10436 and 10437.

We must stress that this remains a test: with a project the size of Folding@home many unplanned complications are possible. The system may change so as to best reflect the scientific needs of the project.

Source: Vijay Pande's blog

New SMP a3 projects p7100-7154

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
A new series of 55 projects has been made available: project numbers 7100-7154. They are the responsibility of a new researcher: Per Larsson. Per is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher in Peter Kasson's team at the University of Virginia, having studied for his doctorate in physics at the University of Stockholm with Erik Lindahl.

These projects are studying the flu virus and more specifically how certain mutations affect the virus. They are the first to require version 2.27 of the Gromacs a3 core and are distributed from the server at 128.143.199.96. Characteristics are as follows...
  • Approximately 77,200 atoms (+/-100 atoms depending on the project)
  • 585 points
  • Bonus factor of 3.23
  • Preferred Deadline of 2.66 days
  • Final Deadline of 4 days

These projects are available on -advmethods for Windows and Linux clients.

Source : Official Forum

New A4 uniprocessor projects: p10436 and p10437

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
Kyle Beauchamps has launched two projects for the single core clients using Gromacs core a4: p10436 and 10437.

These projects simulate the pinhead of the Villin protein in the amber99sb-ildn forcefield at 300K (p10436) and 278K (p10437) in a solution of 3 Mol of GdmCL (guanidinium chloride) denaturant.

Still with us? ;)

These projects are testing the bonus system many of you will be familiar with from SMP clients, on uniprocessor clients. Project 10436 is served from the server 171.64.65.80 and project 10437 from 171.64.65.81. Besides the different servers their characteristics are identical:

  • 576 atoms
  • 311 points
  • Bonus factor : 0.69
  • Preferred Deadline : 8 jours
  • Final deadline : 12 jours

Project 10436 is available to all clients, while project 10437 is restricted to -advmethods for now.

Source : Official Forum

New SMP Gromacs a3 projects: p11020 and p11021

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
Dan Vanatta has released two new projects for the Gromacs SMP A3 core.

These projects are examining the conformational changes during a transition from the active state to the inactive state of the Nitrogen regulator protein C.

These projects are distributed from the server at 171.64.65.55, and have the following characteristics...
  • 25,192 atoms
  • 310 points
  • Bonus factor of 0.75
  • Preferred Deadline: 8 days
  • Final Deadline: 12 days

These projects are currently available to clients with the -advmethods flag and only available to Windows machines, though they should be rolled out to Linux shortly.

Updated 29th March:
Project 11020 has left -advmethods and is now available to all folders.

Source: Official Forum

The SMP gromacs A3 core reaches v2.27

By , the in Folding@Home Project - No comment
Kyle Beauchamps has deployed version 2.27 of the Gromacs a3 core for SMP clients on all platforms.

This version primarily exists to update the science code to the latest version, v4.5.3 of the Gromacs package. The update adds some new scientific analysis methods which will be useful in upcoming projects.

No current projects require the update, but when you receive a project that requires the update, it will be performed automatically.

Source : Official Forum

Ubuntu 11.10 is to be... Oneiric Ocelot

By , the in OS - No comment
Ubuntu 11.10 is to be... Oneiric Ocelot
The practice of using cat names for OSes is not limited to Mac OS X anymore, as it has been announced that Ubuntu 11.10 will also be named after a species of cat. Ubuntu's names have been getting ever more eccentric of late, and the latest versions seems happy to continue the trend.

The latest LSD-inspired name for the OS is Oneiric Ocelot, a cat from South America which will study your dreams...


Expected improvements include the arrival of the Qt framework, which is the main technical improvement for this edition. Formerly owned by telecoms giant Nokia, the Qt framework is used in mainly fields, but primarily in mobile device graphics. This gives a clue as to the Ubuntu project's aims: it is looking to expand into mobile devices, weighing up its options for becoming a big OS for tablet PCs.
More detailed specifications will have to wait until the Ubuntu Developer Summit, which happens in May.

Source : Clubic