Sony has launched the first beta version of its Folding@Home Android app for all of its Xperia Z smartphones. The app is designed to use a smartphone's idle processing power to help simulate the unfolding process of proteins for medical research.
Sony previously launched a Folding@Home application for its PlayStation 3 game console and it held the world record for the biggest distributed computing network in the world. Now the Sony Mobile team hopes to bring that same effort to smartphones, where it will help to find cures for diseases such as Alzheimer's. It states:
The processor in a single Xperia smartphone is capable of performance in the 50 – 100 GFLOP range, though around 30 GFLOPS is more typical, meaning that it would take around 50,000 phones, working full time to equal the 2007 world record. With half a million smartphone users running the app we would more than double the power of entire the Folding@Home network today.
In addition to the Xperia Z smartphones, the Folding@Home app beta can currently be used on Sony's Xperia T3, T2 Ultra, M2 Aqua and C3 devices. The company hopes to make the app available for all Android 4.4 and higher devices later in 2015. HTC launched a similar app in February 2014.