Computer, Super, Cray-1, CPU

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Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This is a CRAY-1, an early example of a class of computers called "supercomputers." It was built by Cray Research, Inc. of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and installed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado. Unlike most computers, it was hand-wired, and its circuits were arranged in a three-quarters circle. Both helped increase the speeds at which signals travel from one part of the computer to another. Hefty power supplies are located below each of the circuit bays, and the padding on them suggests a piece of lounge furniture.

At NCAR, the machine was used between 1977 and 1983, where it performed complex calculations involving the numerical modeling of weather phenomena. As the speeds of ordinary workstations increased over the years, it became obsolete and was donated to the Smithsonian.

Collection Item Long Description:

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Manufacturer

Credit Line

Gift of Cray Research, Inc.

Materials

Frame: Aluminum, with circuit boards attached. Wires in interior.

Dimensions

3-D: 182.9 × 213.4cm, 1730.5kg (6 × 7 ft., 3815lb.) 2893lb. for main section

Country of Origin

United States of America

Type

INSTRUMENTS-Computers, General Purpose

Inventory Number

A19880565000

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