How did Seymour Cray build supercomputers?
Elite customers bought the first supercomputers – the Atomic Energy Commission and the Weather Bureau. For three years, 63 CDC 6600 computers were sold, these computers worked in major US academic institutions. But there are no limits to the best … Seymour CrayFoto: Source In 1968, the CDC 7600 supercomputer was released, which was then again the fastest computer in the world. The clock frequency of its central processor was 36 megahertz (the clock frequency of a modern commercial personal computer is a thousand times higher). A total of 50 of these computers were sold. Few? But we should not forget that the supercomputer both then and now is a very expensive car, they are bought individually. Therefore, this market is quite limited. The next model, the CDC 8600, was made, but they did not release it to the market. Having gained a position in the world of business, the company began to expand and promote more profitable commercial projects. Reckless youth ended, the usual work began, in many ways routine. Life was to become prosperous, but boring. We are moving to a new building: the housing problem spoiled the Muscovites … but not the Petersburgers! We are looking for special mortgage conditions on the St. Petersburg Real Estate website and begin to plan our new life in a new area of the city. Recommended St. Petersburg Real Estate Cray realized that he had to leave in order to make a new take-off. He left in 1972 and founded the company Cray Research. He announced that he would regularly release one supercomputer after another, with each new model being compatible with previous models. The company Control Data, which Seymour Cray left, paid him $ 500,000. This “golden parachute” became the financial foundation of the new company. The computers that Cray Research released were called Cray. Thus, the name of the inventor became an eponym. A glimpse of the power of the supercomputer fell on its inventor. Kray and as a joke, and seriously began to be called “Superman.” In March 1976, he released a unique Sgaau-1 supercomputer. He became a sensation. He was again the fastest computer in the world, a supercomputer. Sgau-1 was installed in the Los Alamos Laboratory. In the same one where the first atomic bomb was created in the 1940s. The inventor of the fastest computer with his brainchild Photo: Source In order to reduce the length of the internal wiring, S. Kray proposed an unusual, cylindrical design of his brainchild. In the lower part was a refrigerator for cooling freon, which, as already mentioned, was pumped between the boards to prevent them from overheating. For better thermal insulation of the refrigerator, the case of the lower part of the supercomputer was covered with a layer of soft filler. Therefore, outwardly, the supercomputer became like a sofa. The jokers called Sgau-1 the most expensive sofa in the world. The supercomputer was assembled almost by hand. In the morning, during the assembly of Sgau-1, Seymour Cray worked at the plant with his colleagues. At 4 o’clock in the evening, the shift ended, and then the designer returned to the factory and worked in the laboratory alone all night until dawn. Apparently, he was an “owl,” the type of person who has a peak in working capacity at night. In 1978, Seymour Cray announced the start of work on a new supercomputer. According to him, the performance of Sgau-2 will have to exceed the productivity of the first model by more than 400 times. The promise has been fulfilled. Sgau-2 was released in the spring of 1985. It was bought by E. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, one of the leading US nuclear weapons centers. That’s how the most expensive sofa in the world works. Photo: Source By the mid-1980s, Cray Research controlled 70% of the supercomputer market. What did Seymour Cray do when his businesses achieved commercial success? He closed them to discover a new one. So it happened this time. In 1989, Seymour Cray closed his former firm and opened a new one, Cray Computer Corp. At the same time, he again announced that he had begun production of Sgau-3 and Sgau-4 supercomputers. And again, these computers were supposed to be the fastest in the world. However, in the two years since then, not a single new computer has been sold. The market was apparently oversaturated. In addition, network technologies began to develop, allowing you to combine several computers into one giant supercomputer. In 1995, Cray Computer filed for bankruptcy. But a cheerful inventor created in the summer of 1996 a new company, already the fourth in a row, to a company that he named by the initials of his name – Seymour Roger Cray, SRC Computer Inc. Seymour Cray still wanted to create the world’s fastest computers. His plans were grandiose. But, as it turned out, he was not destined to come true. September 22, 1996, the inventor had a car accident, as a result of which he died. Seymour Cray approached the creation of computer technology as an art, where logic recedes into the background, or even into the background.