MIT turns Android into supercomputing platform

Take this, iPhone! Researchers over at MIT are now able to use Android phones to generate calculations that previously required a massive supercomputer.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology partnered up with the Texas Advanced Computing Center to create a mobile application that could handle some of its supercomputing processes. The platform they chose was Android.

Scientists took an existing model they had from a large supercomputer and were able to reduce it in size to something that could fit on a device with a smaller footprint – a much smaller one. They successfully created an app for the Android platform that would allow them to run the same kinds of calculations the supercomputer was crunching.

“You don’t need to have a high-powered computer on hand,” said MIT mechanical engineer David Knezevic. Knezevic and his fellow researchers are confident that the results achieved on an Android phone are accurate enough that it can complement the work being done on the supercomputer.

There certainly isn’t anything like this being done on the iPhone, and MIT credits the open platform as Android as being what made this possible. Knezevic said it could revolutionize science. “Once you’ve created the reduced model, you can do all the computations on a phone. We have a bound on how much accuracy we’re losing with our reduced model, so we can say with rigor that we’re doing supercomputing on a phone,” he proclaimed.