The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a non-commercial middleware system for volunteer and grid computing. It was originally developed to support the SETI@Home project before it became useful as a platform for other distributed applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, and astrophysics.
The intent of BOINC is to make it possible for researchers to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world.
BOINC has been developed by a team based at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley led by David Anderson, who also leads SETI@home. As a "quasi-supercomputing" platform, BOINC has almost 612,000 active computers (hosts) worldwide processing on average 4.812 PetaFLOPS as of March 2010, which tops the processing power of the current fastest supercomputer system (Cray XT5 (Jaguar), with a sustained processing rate of 1.759 PFLOPS). BOINC is funded by the National Science Foundation through awards.
The framework is supported by various operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and various Unix-like systems including Linux and FreeBSD. BOINC is free software which is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License.