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Communications of the ACM

ACM Opinion

Why America Must Win the Supercomputing Race

Four decades ago, NASA put a man on the moon using a computer system less powerful than the electronics in many modern-day toasters. With that audacious act of technological faith, the U.S. took a giant step toward global leadership in science, engineering, and  myriad other sectors that had not yet been imagined.

This week, when a Chinese machine was ranked number one on the most recent Top 500 list of the world's most powerful supercomputers, the U.S. has lost more than international bragging rights. By creating the Tianhe-1A, with 1.4 times more muscle than America's fastest supercomputer (the Jaguar at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory) the Chinese have sent a forceful message to the world about their ambitious vision of their country's scientific, economic and military future.

The U.S. cannot afford to take a back seat in computer technology to the Chinese, or to anyone else. The nation that leads the world in high-performance computing will have an enormous competitive advantage in every sector, including national defense, medicine, energy, environment, finance, manufacturing and product development.

From The Huffington Post
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