Grid computing is a very efficient and cheap way of creating super computers. It works by connecting a lot of computers together to form a kind of a network or grid, hence the name. The more computers connected, the more power are available on the grid. IBM has created The World Community Grid to help find cures for AIDS and other sciences that would normally require super computers. All you have to do is download a little program and that’s all it takes for you to be a part of the world wide grid. You then donate your computers idle time for calculations that could lead to cures for various diseases.
The program you have to download works very well without any problems, but it’s got issues. It can only leverage 1 CPU and there is no 64bit edition. My computer is a 64bit Dell Precision with dual Xeon processors and 64bit Windows XP. 64bit processors are capable of processing much faster than the regular 32bit processors. It means that I only donate about a quarter of my total CPU power to The World Community Grid.
The whole idea with grid computing is to leverage the power of the individual machines or nodes as they are called on a grid, so why doesn’t IBM make a version that will, especially when the new dual core processors are becomming mainstream in laptops and in early 2007, Intel are launching quad core (4 cores) processor. 64bit processors are also slowly becoming popular and have been for some time on servers.
IBM, please make a version that leverage the power of my Dell, it’s for the greater good.