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AMD processors made their way from Dubi to Iran, only to show up in Iran's most powerful supercomputer

Iran has a supercomputer constructed with 216 AMD processors, and it's got a lot of websites pretty mad. 

The whole thing reads like an advertisement really.  "An enormously powerful supercomputer" proclaims Slashdot. "such advanced U.S. computing technology is a real breach in U.S. sanctions," warns a UPI editor.

It's true that U.S. semiconductors are banned from entering Iranian borders, but I wonder if those editors know the computing power 860 gigaFLOPS really commands in the HPC world.

A total of four PlayStation 3s running Linux have just a hair less computing power than this computer.  A pair of IBM's newest and tiniest BladeCenter QS21 servers would out-compute Iran's new supercomputer without breaking a sweat.

InformationWeek was quick to get a quote on the story: "AMD fully complies with all United States export control laws, and all authorized distributors of AMD products have contractually committed to AMD that they will do the same with respect to their sales and shipments of AMD products ... Any shipment of AMD products to Iran by any authorized distributor of AMD would be a breach of the specific provisions of their contracts with AMD."

Just for comparison, IBM's BlueGene/L, the world's fastest publicly-known supercomputer, runs at a mere 478 teraFLOPs.

Amirkabir University of Technology, owner of the supercomputer, claims the system is for weather forecasting -- incidentally using the MM5 platform developed by the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Research.


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By Christopher1 on 12/14/2007 12:27:04 AM , Rating: 1
Does anyone really think that if these sanctions were on the United States instead of Iran, that we would REALLY kowtow to them?
No, and this is the reason why these limits on technology really do not make sense to me. I am sure that our military has things that are..... thousands of times faster than these that have not been publicly acknowledged..... so why is the military and government so worried about them having older computer hardware or even current generation public computer hardware?

It just does not make sense in the slightest, and makes me think that this is a 'straw man' to beat the drums of war on.

If anyone can explain this, and the reason why this is a danger to us (and don't start with the 'they can put it in missiles!' argument, that is a fallacious one), I am willing to listen.




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