December 12, 2007
Iranian Scientists develop country’s most powerful supercomputer, despite ban on the export of U.S. computer equipment to the Middle Eastern nation
According to an undated posting on Amirkabir University of Technology, the Iranian scientists have managed to build the country’s most powerful supercomputer, despite ban on the export of U.S. computer equipment to the Middle Eastern nation. They claim to have used 216 microprocessors made by Advanced Micro Devices. They used Linux-cluster architecture in building the system of Opteron processors. Apparently the supercomputer has a theoretical peak performance of 860 giga-flops (a giga-flop is a billion calculations per second). However in a response AMD says that it had never authorized shipments of products either directly or indirectly to Iran or any other embargoed country. This new supercomputer will be used for weather forecasting and meteorological research. However this computer falls far behind the world’s fastest computers. In November, the BlueGene/L System, jointly developed by IBM and the U.S. Department of Energy was ranked No. 1 in the world with a benchmark performance of 478.2 teraflops (a teraflop equals a trillion calculations per second).
In a statement issued this is what AMD had to say:
“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,” the company said. “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.”