US Blocks Intel from Supplying Chips for Chinese Supercomputers

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2015-04-11 Print this article Print
Intel Xeon Phi

Earlier this week, at the Intel Developer Forum China, CEO Brian Krzanich said the company was investing $120 million to create the Mass Makerspace Accelerator program to help fund the work of innovators in the country. According to Krzanich, Intel over the past 30 years has invested more than $7.7 billion in its efforts in China, and currently has 7,500 employees spread out over 27 sites in the country. The chip maker generates $10 billion a year from its China operations.

While many Chinese supercomputers have used Intel processors, the country's political and tech industry leaders have been pushing the development of chips created by Chinese vendors. They may rely on these homegrown processors for the Tianhe-2 upgrade in the absence of the Intel chips.

The situation also marks only the latest chapter in an ongoing dispute between the two countries over technology. U.S. lawmakers have accused China of practicing cyber-espionage, and have said Chinese networking vendors as Huawei Technologies and ZTE represent a national security threat due to their suspected close ties to the Chinese government.

The Chinese government has countered, pointing to U.S. vendors like Intel, IBM and Cisco Systems as security risks, particularly in the wake of disclosures about U.S. surveillance programs by former intelligence consultant Edward Snowden.


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