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Tuesday, March 05, 2019

Russia’s New ‘AI Supercomputer’ Runs on Western Technology | Technology - Defense One

Samuel Bendett, Researcher at the CNA Corporation and a Fellow in Russia Studies at the American Foreign Policy Council says, The 1-petaflop Zhores is built on California circuitry, and it’s hardly alone.

A supercomputer housed in Russia’s Polytechnic University is shown on February 18, 2019.
Photo: asimov igor/shutterstock
Russia’s latest supercomputer is unique in some ways — it is the country’s first to be devoted to “solving problems in the field of artificial intelligence” — but not in others. Like some other Russian defense and dual-use projects, the Zhores computer is built on Western technology.

Its development began in 2017 at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, an 8-year-old private institute founded in partnership with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In January, Skolkovo engineers told state media that Zhores had reached computing speeds of about one petaflop, making it Russia’s sixth-fastest supercomputer. (The country’s fastest supercomputer is about 50 times more powerful — and it’s ranked just 77th in the world.)...

The Russian government has been pushing its companies to develop domestic replacements for foreign components. For example, the UAV manufacturer UZGA recently announced that it will be producing an entirely “Russified Forpost-UA, which Moscow has been assembling from parts purchased from Israel under a license agreement. And the Russian military is developing a company, called Kryptonite, to create civilian IT products based on military information-security research — a reaction to Moscow’s long-held concern that imported IT products create security vulnerabilities. So far, however, Russian civilian developers are not yet barred from using Western technology, nor from officially cooperating with international companies that work on AI.   
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Source: Defense One