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China turns to US-made AI chips to boost hypersonic weapon performance

17th May 2024 - 13:53 GMT | by ​Neil Thompson in London


The pursuit of hypersonic weapons – those that travel Mach 5 or faster – has been pioneered by US companies such as Raytheon. (Image: Raytheon, an RTX business)

Chinese researchers have been using a US-designed AI semiconductor chip to enhance the performance of a hypersonic weapon’s scramjet engine, significantly improving computational tasks and suggesting potential integration into future missile systems.

In mid-April 2024, Chinese press announced that Chinese researchers working on a joint project between Dalian University of Technology (DUT) and Beijing Power Machinery Research Institute (BPMRI) had used a US-designed artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductor chip to boost the performance of the scramjet engine on a hypersonic weapon.

The team published their results in mid-March in a paper featured in Propulsion Technology, a Chinese academic journal. The team, headed by Professor Sun Ximing, said in its paper it had placed a Nvidia Jetson TX2i GPU computer unit into a hypersonic vehicle able to travel through the air at speeds

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​Neil Thompson


​Neil Thompson

Neil Thompson works freelance for Shephard and other defence publishers, but is currently employed as …

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