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posted by on Thursday April 09 2015, @05:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the my-processor-can-beat-up-your-processor dept.

According to VR World and HPCwire, the U.S. government has blacklisted "high technology" shipments to the National Supercomputing Center Changsha (NSCC-CS), National Supercomputing Center Guangzhou (NSCC-GZ), National Supercomputing Center Tianjin (NSCC-TJ), and the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China. This effectively means that these major supercomputing facilities can no longer purchase Intel Xeon chips. Tianhe-2, the world's fastest supercomputer since June 2013 according to Top500, is located at the NUDT in Guangzhou and uses a total of 32,000 Intel Xeon and 48,000 Xeon Phi chips.

The main claim of the Bureau of Industry and Security's End-User Review Committee (ERC) is that NUDT, which used US-manufactured parts to produce the Tianhe-1A and Tianhe-2 supercomputers located at the National Supercomputing Centers in Changsha, Guangzhou, and Tianjin, is believed to be engaged in activities related to nuclear explosives.

The U.S. also uses supercomputers for nuclear weapons research.

The news coincides with the Intel Developer Forum 2015 in Shenzhen, China, at which the company announced new Braswell, SoFIA, and Cherry Trail chips, among other products. VR World speculates that the move could cost Intel $1 billion on lost Broadwell-EP Xeon E5v4 sales and accelerate the development of homegrown Chinese processors.

 
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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by c0lo on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:07AM

    by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:07AM (#168196) Journal

    ShenWei SW-3 [wikipedia.org] - 190 GFlops at 1.1 GHZ (65 nm)
    Xeon E3 1245v3 (Haswell) [pugetsystems.com] - 170 GFlops at 3.6 GHz (22 nm)

    Conclusion: China only needs a 22 nm chip foundry - (got its own technology in late 2012 [zdnet.com])

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday April 09 2015, @07:57AM

      by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday April 09 2015, @07:57AM (#168218) Homepage
      Where did the 190 figure come from? The link you provided says "140.8 GFLOPS @ 1.1 GHz"
      --
      Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday April 09 2015, @10:48AM

        by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 09 2015, @10:48AM (#168268) Journal
        My bad, a typo.
        Conclusion still stands.
        --
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 2) by tibman on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:32PM

      by tibman (134) Subscriber Badge on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:32PM (#168346)

      Comparing processors of different architectures is misleading. SW-3 is over five years old and heavily based on an Alpha processor. Sticking more Alphas on the die and shrinking will only get you so far. When it comes to supercomputers it is difficult to compare hardware. For example:
      GTX Titan X [wikipedia.org] - 6,144 GFlops at ~1 GHz (28 nm)

      --
      SN won't survive on lurkers alone. Write comments.
  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by c0lo on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:14AM

    by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:14AM (#168198) Journal
    Intel offers olive branch of investment for growth [www.ecns.cn] (Intel not only lost sales, but also forced to invest to keep the market opened for them)

    Intel Corp said on Wednesday that it will invest 120 million yuan ($19.3 million) to promote grass roots technology innovation in China amid deepening mistrust over information security between the United States and China.

    --
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:26AM

    by bradley13 (3053) on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:26AM (#168200) Homepage Journal

    That's a pretty pathetic and useless gesture. The only real effect is going to be to encourage China to move to processors that they make in-country. Meanwhile, if they need Intel stuff, they will just buy it through an intermediary.

    Anyone in the know about US-China relations? Is the US really this clueless, or does this political grandstanding have some purpose?

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by c0lo on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:37AM

      by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:37AM (#168203) Journal

      That's a pretty pathetic and useless gesture.

      May be a bit worse than that.
      Seems like a pissing contest is in progress, on who has the fasterest super-computer [pcworld.com].
      If so, I wonder what's the fuss? Like... why having the biggest dick matters when it comes to supercomputing? Does it matter enough to hurt your own industry?

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by t-3 on Thursday April 09 2015, @07:48AM

        by t-3 (4907) on Thursday April 09 2015, @07:48AM (#168215)

        International politics is just gangbanging on a grand scale. It doesn't make sense because it shouldn't to any rational minded modern human.

      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by hendrikboom on Thursday April 09 2015, @01:23PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) on Thursday April 09 2015, @01:23PM (#168308) Homepage Journal

        Supercomputers are nowadays essential for weather forecasting.

        And superior weather forecasting was essential in timing the successful D-day invasion years before I was even born.

        I'm not sure there's a valid syllogism here, but...

        • (Score: 2) by opinionated_science on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:32PM

          by opinionated_science (4031) on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:32PM (#168347)

          and drug design, nuclear weapons safety, fusion reactor models and design, car design, airplane design, clinical statistics etc...

          Computers (super or not) are the the engine that turns ideas into things that can be manufactured, for much less physical outlay.

          The more detail you need, the more maths you need, the bigger the computer you need.

          Many physical problem scale at N^2 or worse...

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Thursday April 09 2015, @09:03PM

            by c0lo (156) on Thursday April 09 2015, @09:03PM (#168496) Journal

            The more detail you need, the more maths you need, the bigger the computer you need.

            Would purely the need is the driver, why not: "we built it because we need it", but "we must build a bigger one only because China beat us. And to make sure it won't happen again soon, we embargo the tech for China"?

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by mrchew1982 on Saturday April 11 2015, @04:00AM

      by mrchew1982 (3565) on Saturday April 11 2015, @04:00AM (#168888)

      Could be related to the territorial disputes in the south china sea. China knows that the US is hamstrung in the middle east (and China might be helping behind the scenes to destabilize things there to keep the US busy...) So they've been throwing their weight around in Asia pretty much unchecked.

      The US might have erred too much in neutering Japan after WW2, although China's rise to power was pretty much inevitable... Probably wouldn't have mattered. If you look though, the west has invaded pretty much all of those territories at one time or another; Korea is still a mess which won't end any time soon.

      Back to the processors, I agree its just an annoyance. Even so, It's not simple to switch processors when you've standardized a supercomputer on a particular architecture. And It does have to make them wonder how far we'll go if they push the west further, for them to build it in the first place I would bet that they never thought that we'd do something like this. The embargoes against Russia have succeeded pretty well in stalling their economy, so China has to be ever so slightly worried. Without markets for their goods it would be interesting to see what would happen to China...

  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday April 09 2015, @07:53AM

    by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Thursday April 09 2015, @07:53AM (#168217) Homepage
    So it will be boom time for Intel's Israeli offices?
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by VortexCortex on Thursday April 09 2015, @08:37AM

      by VortexCortex (4067) on Thursday April 09 2015, @08:37AM (#168231)

      Welcome to the terrorist watchlist. :^)

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @10:09AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @10:09AM (#168264)

        Surely posting as an AC makes me anonymous right? right?

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @09:16AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @09:16AM (#168240)

    >related to nuclear explosives

    China has been investing heavily in Thorium.

    Chances are, they're using the super computers to further their research.

    Lockheed's fusion will flop, China will dominate energy production with LFTR, and I'll die right.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:40PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @06:40PM (#168441)

      a bussard collector wont work in interstellar space if it needs to collect thorium atoms and you might want to die on this planet .. others don t.

  • (Score: 2) by looorg on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:13PM

    by looorg (578) on Thursday April 09 2015, @02:13PM (#168335)

    Couldn't they just buy AMD? Otherwise I guess this might just be the thing that will fuel China's desire to make their own chips and CPU then. I do wonder if they will be x86/64 compatible or they'll make something new. As long as they are totally compatible I guess the winner could be the consumer with new and lower prices. I'm sure they could reverse-engineer some Intel chips by now without to many problems.

  • (Score: 2) by middlemen on Thursday April 09 2015, @03:17PM

    by middlemen (504) on Thursday April 09 2015, @03:17PM (#168365) Homepage

    makes sense to ban the NUDiTy in China...

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @10:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @10:36PM (#168530)

      Yeah, ban that godawful hairy stuff.

  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @11:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 09 2015, @11:00PM (#168538)

    Never heard of the ShenWei, looks pretty interesting. Does anyone know if it has use outside of the Chinese HPC sector?
    JiangSu's Loongson processors leave something to be desired, even the latest hex-core Godson 3B does not fare well performance-wise. See benchmarks: http://openbenchmarking.org/result/1404098-SO-3B1W2703307 [openbenchmarking.org]

    The Elbrus 8 from Russia should also be released sometime this year. http://www.mcst.ru/vosmiyadernyj-mikroprocessor-s-arkhitekturoj-elbrus [www.mcst.ru]