Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Cray 1A resurrected

For people of a certain age, Cray was the ultimate mind blowing supercomputer. Several of my colleagues worked for the company.

So how fast was the original Cray 1A, the monster machine purchased by top secret agencies to build bombs and do spy stuff?
Homebrew Cray-1A |

... Now, let’s get down to specs - What is this bad boy running? The original machine ran at a blistering 80 MHz, and could use from 256-4096 kilowords (32 megabytes!) of memory. It has 12 independent, fully-pipelined execution units, and with the help of clever programming, can peak at 3 floating-point operations per cycle. Here’s a diagram of the overall architecture...
My iPhone 4 is ten times faster.

We really don't understand our world.

As you might guess from the phrase "What is this bad boy running?" Chris Fenton is an absolute, stark raving mad, uber-geek. He has built a Cray-1A equivalent at 1/10 scale. The only thing he's missing is the software. Maybe some of my friends have some at home.

Read the story ....

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