Emotions are a very powerful thing – so much so that it can lead us to inspiring acts, as well as for others, lead us to perform some rather desperate ones. Fear is one emotion that is a double-edged sword, and it should be used carefully. The US government’s growing fears of nuclear issues has seen them issue a ban on Intel, preventing the company to assist China update the world’s biggest supercomputer.
Intel did place an application for a license that would have allowed them to export many thousands of chips in order to update the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, but the Department of Commerce has decided to refuse the issuance of the license, citing valid concerns about nuclear research that will be performed using the machine.
On a separate note, Intel did sign a $200m deal with the US government in order to construct a huge supercomputer at one of its national laboratories. One ought to take note that at the heart of the Tianhe-2 lies a whopping 80,000 Intel Xeon chips that are capable of generating a computational capacity of over 33 petaflops, where a petaflop happens to be equal to approximately one quadrillion calculations – every single second!
Do you think that those fears are irrational and unfounded, or is the threat of nuclear research a very real one? Only time will be able to tell.