Tuesday, July 28, 2009

U.S. Supercomputing Lead Rings Sputnik-Like Alarm for Russia

Patrick Thibodeau writes on ComputerWorld:

Russia's launch of Sputnik in 1957 triggered a crisis of confidence in the U.S. that helped drive the creation of a space program. Now, Russia is comparing the U.S.'s achievements in supercomputing with theirs, and they don't like what they see.

In a speech on Tuesday, Russia's President, Dmitry Medvedev, criticized his country's IT industry almost to the point of sarcasm for failing to develop supercomputing technology, and urged a dramatic change in Russia's use of high-performance computing.

Medvedev, at the opening address of a Security Council Meeting on Supercomputers in Moscow, told attendees that 476 out of the 500 supercomputers on the Top500 list were manufactured in the United States. "Therefore, in general, our situation is very difficult," he said.

Medvedev was clear about his blame for this gap.

"If we are talking seriously, a huge number of entrepreneurs, not to mention officials, do not know what supercomputers are: For them it is an exotic type of those machines that were created in the 1920s to catch up and overtake America," Medvedev said in remarks published on a government Web site.

More here.


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