Russia may benefit territorially in the short term from America’s ass-backwards embrace of authoritarianism, protectionism, nativism and superstition, but China stands to make real gains, and not only because of its likely place as the leader of globalization. The most anti-science Administration in memory, maybe ever, will not only prevent foreign students from entering the country but will also redirect dollars from smart technologies to dumb walls, which will give our chief competitor a huge edge in developing renewables and supercomputers. If China wins those wars, traditional military battles may be a moot point.
China intends to develop a prototype of an exascale supercomputer by the end of 2017, tweaking an exascale delivery date that’s already well ahead of the U.S. The timing of the announcement, reported by an official government news service, raised the possibility it was a message to President-elect Donald Trump.
China’s announcement comes the same week Trump takes office. The Trump administration is bringing a lot of uncertainty to supercomputing research, which is heavily dependent on government funding.
“The exascale race is also a publicity and mindshare race,” said Steve Conway, a high-performance computing analyst at IDC. “The Chinese are putting a stake in the ground and saying we’re going to have a prototype computer soon, maybe a year or so sooner than people expected,” he said.
The Hill reported Thursday that the Trump administration is planning deep cuts at the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds the development of the America’s largest supercomputers.
This report, which didn’t name sources, said the Trump administration was considering cutting advanced scientific computing research to 2008 levels, a position advocated by conservative think tank The Heritage Foundation.•
Tags: Patrick Thibodeau