A form of networking. Unlike conventional networks that focus on communication among devices, grid computing harnesses unused processing cycles of all computers in a network for solving problems too intensive for any stand-alone machine.
A well-known grid computing project is the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) @Home project, in which PC users worldwide donate unused processor cycles to help the search for signs of extraterrestrial life by analyzing signals coming from outer space. The project relies on individual users to volunteer to allow the project to harness the unused processing power of the user's computer. This method saves the project both money and resources.
Grid computing does require special software that is unique to the computing project for which the grid is being used.