China surpassing the U.S. in supercomputing technology necessary for advanced weapon design – Forward Observer Shop

China surpassing the U.S. in supercomputing technology necessary for advanced weapon design

The Chinese are pouring a lot of resources into building supercomputers that surpass anything the United States possesses and is heading towards becoming the leading supercomputer producer in the world.

Already China has two of the world’s fastest supercomputers. In addition, 202 of the world’s 500 fastest supercomputers are in China, more than any other country.

Meanwhile, America’s fastest device is a meager fifth place, and while we have only 144 of the top 500 slots.

Chian also wins out on total computational resources with 35.4 percent of the computing power on the list, compared with America’s 29.6 percent.

The U.S. government is putting more resources into the Dept. of Energy’s exascale computing project, which is supposed to perform one quintillion operations per second — 10 times the capacity of China’s current fastest supercomputer — by 2021. However, the Chinese expect to have a machine that fast, or faster, by 2020.

Supercomputers have a great deal of utility in the development of advanced weapons systems, especially missile defense. A recent joint National Security Agency-Energy Department study, based on an assessment of China’s new supercomputer called the TaihuLight, said, “National security requires the best computing available, and loss of leadership in [high-performance computing] will severely compromise our national security.”

It also noted that supercomputers are vital in the design, development, and analysis of almost all modern weapons systems, including nuclear weapons, cyber warfare capabilities, ships, aircraft, communications security, missile defense, precision-strike capabilities and hypersonic weapons.

Jon E. Dougherty is a political, foreign policy and national security analyst and reporter with nearly 30 years of experience in both fields. A U.S. Army veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom, he holds BA in Political Science from Ashford University and an MA in National Security Studies/Intelligence Analysis from American Military University.

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