Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A Pentium III ?

From Forbes, via the Computing Research Policy blog (emphasis added):
Meanwhile, another even more serious threat to the U.S.' competitive position in supercomputing is lurking in the shadows. Tucked away into the House version of the National Defense Authorization Act, which passed in May, is Section 1404, which would classify any computer using a Pentium 3 processor or stronger as a 'militarily critical' machine to the Department of Defense--or, a weapon--and make it subject to tightened export regulations. While high-performance computers are already regulated separately as part of a 1991 agreement with Japan, called the Supercomputer Control Regime, the new restrictions would arguably affect certain systems components developers need for supercomputers.

If a Pentium III can be classified as military weaponry, suddenly I don't feel so safe anymore.


  1. Well, the playstation (II?) at its time was considered a super computer (i.e., the YS was worried that some chinese generals would play pacman on the playstation). In any case, I think the CPU development and part of the manufacturing of Intel processors is done in Israel/Taiwan/etc. So, it is not clear the US has control over this topic anyway.

  2. Indeed, and supercomputers have been made out of playstations, so go figure....


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