China Outpaces U.S. in Race for Fastest Supercomputer – Threat or Opportunity?

On November 28, 2011, Newsweek reported that China outpaces the U.S. in the race for the fastest supercomputer. Does the U.S. consider this as a threat or opportunity?

Design and manufacturing are central drivers of the global economy.  As part of their product development process, industries as diverse as  automotive, aerospace and defence, electronics, pharmaceutical, biomedical and renewable energy are investing in the ability to model, simulate and process data. This investment drives the technological advancements needed to develop future products and services, and allows regions around the world to maintain their economic positions.

High-performance computing (HPC) is without doubt a key enabler of scientific and industrial innovation. HPC facilitates high-fidelity simulation (bigger, more detailed, more accurate, more complete, system-level simulation) which is critical for organizations that rely on simulation to support product innovation. HPC also enables design exploration, leading to early identification of optimized and more robust designs, thus making the engineering process more productive.  Global economies that invest in HPC  will, over time, gain the greatest competitive advantage and reap the largest economic benefits. Hence the current scramble to invest in large-scale leading-edge HPC systems worldwide.

The U.S. (and Europe) is threatened by global competitors making huge HPC investments. Among the new economic powers, China and India have very ambitious HPC programs and are investing vast sums of public money on related infrastructure.

I think the U.S. should view these challenges as an opportunity to invest for its future by developing new HPC technologies, exploiting synergies with other domains, providing advanced facilities, educating its workforce and promoting innovative use of HPC.

As the HPC landscape continues to change, the economies that adapt the fastest will be the ones that will most likely gain the greatest benefits. In this landscape ANSYS plays an important role and has the commitment, expertise and support from key partners like Intel, AMD, IBM, HP, NVIDIA and others to ensure that companies’ return on investment in HPC is maximized today and into the future.

Read more about how engineering companies are benefiting from HPC solutions in ANSYS Advantage magazine.

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Wim Slagter

About Wim Slagter

Wim is Marketing Director for High Performance Computing (HPC) and Cloud at ANSYS, Inc. In his role, he is also responsible for the overall design and execution of the global HPC & Cloud partner program within Corporate Marketing at ANSYS. Prior to that, Wim was the Lead Product Manager of HPC. Wim was also Corporate Product Manager for the CFD product line and the Business Manager for Explicit Dynamics and Offshore. Before joining ANSYS in 2003, Wim worked at MSC Software since 1994 in various management positions related to software development, consulting, and sales. Wim holds a Ph.D. degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Technical University of Delft in the Netherlands.

One thought on “China Outpaces U.S. in Race for Fastest Supercomputer – Threat or Opportunity?

  1. I see it’s a threat AND and opportunity. Nice title, got me to read the article – since I wondered how could it be an opportunity – unless we are going to outsource HPC. So if the Chinese create new and better weapons it will be an OPPORTUNITY for us to do the same….

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