A Chinese supercomputer ranked fastest in the world four years running could soon slip from that top spot: Intel, the US-based microprocessor maker, says it’s been blocked by the US government from selling chips to China.
Representatives for Intel Corp. confirmed to the Wall Street Journalthis week that it’s stopped shipping microprocessor chips to Chinese customers after the US Department of Commerce announced recently with little fanfare that its begun restricting exports to certain entities there over national security concerns. According to the Commerce Dept., the chips are powering high-speed supercomputers being used to conduct nuclear research on behalf of the Chinese government.
A Commerce Dept. committee added the names of four Beijing-linked entities to its block list in February, the Journal first reported on Thursday this week, all believed to be “involved in activities contrary to the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”
The group determined that the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), the National Supercomputing Center in Changsha (NSCC–CS), National Supercomputing Center in Guangzhou (NSCC–GZ) and the National Supercomputing Center in Tianjin (NSCC–TJ), all located in the People’s Republic of China, should be shunned because they’ve been ordering chips from Intel to build supercomputers “believed to be used in nuclear explosive activities,” according to the Commerce Dept.