(Photo by Yang Bo / China News Service via Images)
The US government lifts roadblocks routiers to prevent China from building its own “exascale” supercomputer.
Thursday, the US Department of Commerce imposed export controls on four intensive computing centers in China linked to the development of exascale systems, which will be five times more powerful than the first American supercomputer.
According to the Biden administration, emerging supercomputing technology poses a threat to US national security as it will eventually help the Chinese military. (In 2019, the Trump administration also placed export control on the Chinese manufacturer of Sugon supercomputers.)
"High-performance computing capabilities are vital to the development of many, perhaps almost all, of themodern rms and national security systems, such as nuclear weapons and hypersonic weapons, ”US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo said in a statement.
Indeed, the United States itself uses supercomputers for decades now to simulate and refine the country's nuclear weaponry. The more powerful the machine, the more accurately it can simulate the explosion.
The Department of Commerce's export controls specifically target the National Supercomputing Center in Jinan, where the country has deployed a prototype exascale system. The United States is also targeting the National Supercomputing Center in Wuxi, home of China's main supercomputer, theSunway TaihuLight. The system, pictured above, currently ranks as the f our most powerful supercomputer in the world.
Export controls mean that US tech companies will need to obtain a license from the Commerce Department in order to ship microchips and software to Chinese data centers. But American companies must assume they will receive a denial.
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In addition, The Commerce Department has placed export controls on three Chinese companies that it says have developed high-performance computing technologies for the Chinese military. The Washington Post also note that Taiwan, a major manufacturer of chips, plans to work with the United States to monitor where chip supplies are going.
The U.S. government plans to bring its own system online.th exascale later this year with two supercomputers called Aurora and Frontier . A third exascale machine, called El Capitan , will arrive in 2022.