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Start-up to launch distributed computing service

DataSynapse will announce Monday that the final version of its distributed computing software is ready for use by broadband consumers.

DataSynapse, a start-up technology company developing a system to take advantage of distributed computing power, will announce Monday that the final version of its software is ready for use by broadband consumers.

The New York-based company has been testing for months a system to allow multiple personal computers in scattered locations to collectively perform a single task over a high-speed Internet connection.

The concept, known within the industry as distributed computing, is being The P2P myth addressed commercially as use of other peer-to-peer and broadband Internet connections gain in popularity. Several new companies, including Entropia, Popular Power and United Devices, are developing distributed computing technologies and business models.

DataSynapse needs to attract a consumer base willing to have their excess computing power used, while deriving revenue from corporations that need such power for complex calculations.

The software to be announced Monday allows a consumer's excess computer processing power to be harnessed and reused by corporations. DataSynapse plans to offer the collective power of its customer base to major financial institutions to use for complex economic calculations as early as the second quarter of next year.

DataSynapse will charge corporations for the right to use the collective computing power, which can save them time and money by quickly calculating information without the need to purchase hundreds of PCs.

DataSynapse intends to add 10,000 consumers to its network by the end of the first quarter of 2001. The company offers its service only to consumers with broadband Net connections. Several high-speed Internet service providers, including MegaPath Networks, and Bazillion, will begin promoting the company's DataSynapse Engine software in the coming weeks, executives said.

"Commercially, narrowband resources are a complete waste of time," said DataSynapse chief executive Peter Lee. "It's critical to get on board with the ISPs. There's a natural desire to propagate broadband."

To entice consumers to download and install the software, DataSynapse will offer Flooz, a digital currency that allows customers to purchase goods and services online, in addition to the opportunity to win Palm handheld computers and a sports car.

Ultimately, the company plans to offer its registered broadband network customers the opportunity to access a powerful Web search engine that uses the power of the computing resources attached to the network, which DataSynapse is testing with the National Center for Supercomputing Applications.