Today’s micro-processors are amongst the most advanced pieces of technology around today, so it is comforting that AMD, the World’s second largest player in PC processors has somehow seen its products skirting sanctions & ending up in Iran.
216 Opterons (server processors) have made their way into one big supercomputing chain in Iran for ‘weather prediction’. Savvy investors will recall that this month AMD came under serious scrutiny by selling 10% of itself to
Bahrain UAE, the sale has raised serious security concerns by the US regarding the release of sensitive technologies – Now apparently for good reason. AMD also owns ATI, the popular Canadian graphics card maker.
The US is investigating;
Iranian scientists claim to have used 216 microprocessors made by Advanced Micro Devices to build the country’s most powerful supercomputer, despite a ban on the export of U.S. computer equipment to the Middle Eastern nation. Scientists at the Iranian High Performance Computing Research Center at the country’s Amirkabir University of Technology said they used a Linux-cluster architecture in building the system of Opteron processors. The supercomputer has a theoretical peak performance of 860 giga-flops, the posting said. A giga-flop is a billion calculations per second.
The disclosure, made in an undated posting on Amirkabir’s Web site, brought an immediate response Monday from AMD, which said it has never authorized shipments of products either directly or indirectly to Iran or any other embargoed country.
“AMD fully complies with all United States export control laws, and all authorized distributors of AMD products have contractually committed to AMD that they will do the same with respect to their sales and shipments of AMD products,” the company said. “Any shipment of AMD products to Iran by any authorized distributor of AMD would be a breach of the specific provisions of their contracts with AMD.”
Enforcement of export bans is handled through the Office of Foreign Asset Control, which is part of the U.S. Treasury Department. Officials were unavailable for comment. [...]
I look forward to hearing more how AMD let sensitive technology leak to Iran and how it came to be that the sanctioned rogue nation is slapping together powerful supercomputers while at the same time pushing forward to enrich uranium?
edit: The University webpage supposedly had images along with the posting which have been removed, pictures with UAE stamped shipping materials. Nice, buy some AMD and ship out contraband right to Iran.
[tags]AMD, Iran, Technology, Sanctions[/tags]