Weather computer awaiting approval

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 April, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 April, 1999, 12:00am

A high-speed supercomputer expected to boost the forecasting abilities of the Observatory is awaiting export approval from the US Government.

The $10-million Cray SV1 computer from Silicon Graphics runs at 21,000 million theoretical operations per second and is to be used to predict weather over small areas in Hong Kong.

The firm has obtained approval from the US Department of Commerce and the application is now under review by the departments of Defence, State, Energy and Justice and the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency.

'This review procedure is expected to take about 30 days to process and the results should be available in early May,' a spokesman for the firm said.

The SAR had a different trade status from China, he added, and did not require a 10-day review procedure followed by a second round of examinations lasting up to three months.

Export licences are required for high-speed computers as part of the Clinton administration's policy to restrict technology transfers with military potential.