The first day of the workshop here in Barcelona was very rainy and dull. But there was nothing of this inside the conference room. The day started with a talk by David Anderson the BOINC project leader.
He gave a review of volunteer computing in the last year since the workshop in Grenoble in 2008. The computing power since then increase by a factor of 3 for all volunteer computing projects. Mainly this is provided by the Folding@home project, which really early started to develop GPU applications that are able to utilize graphical processing units on graphic-cards. Approximately half of the overall computing power comes from GPU’s!
Besides this the volunteer base stayed at about 330,000 users. So volunteer computing is still unknown to the general public though the Progress Through Processors initiative launched by Intel und Grid Republic on facebook.
In the last 12 months no new academic projects started to use BOINC as a method to access a huge resource of unused computer power. Nevertheless the funding of BOINC is assured till mid 2011 through a grant from the National Science Foundation and another grant is on its way.
The development of BOINC is guided towards integration of GPU’s from ATI and NVidia at the moment and a new system for credit and runtime estimation is right around the corner. Details were not presented.
There where also presented many extension to the BOINC server that should make it easier for scientist to BOINCify there applications and create new projects that attract new volunteers to volunteer computing.
So much for the first day that’ll last till 6pm and end with a visit to nice Spanish restaurant.