Sony Assists Researchers Worldwide With Humanitarian Research Projects

Offers VAIO PC customers shortcut for becoming World Community Grid volunteers

Oct 21, 2010, 08:30 ET from Sony Electronics

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Sony Electronics today announced that its VAIO® computers now come equipped with IBM's World Community Grid software, helping provide scientists around the globe with the computing power to help solve humankind's biggest challenges.  

All fall line-up of Sony VAIO® PCs – excluding laptops with Intel Atom based processors notebooks – will come equipped with World Community Grid software that users can opt to run.  

Once activated, the software connects VAIO users with World Community Grid, a network of PCs which pools their surplus processing power to create a free, virtual supercomputer for researchers to tap.  The program detects idle time in a volunteer's computer activity and requests work data for a specific project from World Community Grid's server.  It then performs computations on this data, sends results back to the server, and requests more work.  Each computation performed and every PC added provide scientists with critical information that accelerates the pace of research.  

"We are excited to partner with World Community Grid to further the development of life-changing solutions," said Jamey Gottlieb, vice president, Business Development at Sony Electronics. "VAIO PC owners can support research projects that tackle global causes while the World Community Grid program runs during idle mode, getting work done while you are not working."  

"I know the scientific research community is grateful to Sony and its many customers for helping to make World Community Grid even more successful," said Robin Willner, IBM's Vice President of Global Community Initiatives.  "We are confident that volunteers will get immense satisfaction knowing that they are joining a growing and vibrant community intent on transforming the world into a better place."

The World Community Grid network of PCs has the potential to help scientists cure cancer, battle AIDS, eliminate world hunger, and develop clean energy resources.  The collective power of more than 1.6 million PCs gives scientists the equivalent of one of the world's fastest supercomputers, speeding up research by crunching numbers and performing simulations that would take hundreds of years to perform on typical computers.  

To put its size into perspective, World Community Grid currently receives seven computational results from volunteers' PCs every second of the day -- more than 500 million in all -- since World Community Grid started up six years ago.  In fact, if World Community Grid were just one computer, it would have performed computations for the equivalent of 392,000 years.  With hundreds of thousands of volunteers joining together, the possibilities are endless.  

When idle or between keystrokes on a lightweight task, the PCs request data from World Community Grid's server, which runs Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) software, maintained at the University of California, Berkeley and supported by the National Science Foundation.

Computer users who are interested in joining the Sony VAIO team on the World Community Grid effort can also register and download the software program from

SOURCE Sony Electronics