Asian scientists call for government action on supercomputers

Scientists in India, China, Japan, Korea and India have called on their governments to collaborate on supercomputer technology

Scientists in India, China, Japan, Korea and India have called on their governments to collaborate in developing high-performance supercomputer technology.

Scientists from the five countries urged their governments to put aside their differences and work together on joint programmes to develop supercomputers.

They warned a meeting of computer specialists in Hamburg that Asia risked falling behind Europe and the USA in supercomputer technology, if they did not pool resources.

Attempts by researchers in Asian countries to work on joint projects had been hampered by bureaucracy, a lack of political will and lack of funding, the meeting at the International Supercomputing Conference heard.

Zhong Jin, a scientist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said that USA, Europe and G8 countries funded international collaboration on supercomputers and Asia should do the same.

“The scale of investment for the next generation of supercomputer may be much more than any one country can afford,” he told the meeting.


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Govindarajan Ramaswamy, chairman of India’s SERC supercomputer centre, said it made sense for Asian countries to work together.

“We are working on common problems and collaboration in the cloud could help us forge ahead as a country,” he said.

However Asian countries would need to overcome political barriers, if collaborative research is to become a reality.

Japan, for example, imposes restrictions on non-Japanese organisations accessing supercomputers more powerful than 5 Teraflops – a relatively slow speed, compared to today’s fastest computers.

“But that does not stop meetings, or distributing software for supercomputers, or opening up supercomputer accounts to people who have been in Japan for 6 months,” said Hiroshi Nakashima, scientist at Kyoto University.

The group said it would encourage IT suppliers and government agencies to meet with scientists to build the case for a collaborative research programme.

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