Intel has launched a Facebook app version of its distributed computing technology, which aims to solve difficult problems that require lots of computing power by getting millions of PCs across the world to do little bits when they're idle.

Arguably the most famous implementation of the technology is SETI@Home, which lets you analyse radio signals to search for extraterrestrial life, or Folding@Home (also known as Rosetta@Home) which simulates protein folding to try and find a cure for major diseases.

There's also Africa@Home which aims to combat malaria and, which runs climate simulations to try and discover how the earth will change in coming years. The latter three are all run by GridRepublic, who have partnered with Intel for this project.

The application is called Progress Thru Processors and was launched on Monday in beta. It only activates when there's spare CPU power to use, and runs automatically in the background.

"By simply running an application on your computer, which uses very little incremental resources, you can expand computing resources to researchers" said Deborah Conrad, Intel vice president and general manager of corporate marketing.

So what's your chosen cause? Climate research, malaria, other major diseases or the search for extraterrestrial life? Let us know in the comments box below.