Russian news agency reports US, Russia to cooperate in building supercomputers [UPDATED]

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But I’ll warn you right now, the details are slim. ITAR-TASS, the official Russian government news agency, ran a story yesterday on a new cooperative effort between Russia and the US on the development of supercomputing technology

Russia will cooperate with the United States in producing supercomputers, but will keep developing its own computers, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said after the Tuesday council’s meeting devoted to this issue.

I thought the US was still classifying supercomputers as weapons and generally not sharing them with the rest of the world? Anyway, the Secretary evidently has a strong belief in the utility of HPC in the development of Russia as a world power, and in the development of its economy, and the Russian President agrees

Patrushev also noted that the advantages of supercomputers should be used in state structures and private companies.

…Meanwhile, at the Security Council meeting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Russia intends to make investments in the production of supercomputers. Medvedev emphasized that supercomputers are badly needed in Russia. “We should stimulate their demand in every way, not because it is a popular issue, but just because it is impossible to manufacture competitive products in another way, so that our potential buyers took them in the right way,” Medvedev elaborated.

The president regretted that many people support the use of supercomputers verbally, but in deed only few people learn a new technological space. “A greater part of businesspeople, to say nothing about officials, are not aware at all about supercomputers. For them it is the same exotics as machines produced in the 20s in order “catch up and surpass” the U.S.,” the president said.

Funny, we have the same complaint in the US…er, the awareness part, not the “catch up and surpass the U.S.” part. At least one company in Russia’s nascent HPC industry has been making news lately. T-Platforms has been featured in several posts here, and was the first Russian HPC company to participate in ISC when it exhibited this past summer.

Tip o’ the chapeau to HPCwire for the pointer.

[UPDATED] Computerworld also has an article on this, and they took the angle of emphasizing the added juice the Russians seem to be approaching the development of their own HPC capability to catch up with the US. This makes way more sense than the ITAR-TASS report that the US and Russia are actually cooperating to advance Russia’s capability.