Design Con 2015

Cray -1 super computer: The power supply

-April 18, 2013

Seymour Cray and his creation: The Cray-1 (Image courtesy of Computer History Museum)

I will be doing a series of articles from my trip to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Take a trip there and visit this amazing museum---it’s worth your time to roam through history.

I looked at each exhibit from the Analog and Power aspect, although I do appreciate the digital and software aspects, innovation and creativity of the design. The following is what I saw with a “power management eye” of the Cray-1 computer. As an analog engineer, I wanted to know how this “beast” was powered and what the rationale was in the power design.

The first Cray-1™ system was installed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1976 for $8.8 million. It boasted a world-record speed of 160 million floating-point operations per second (160 megaflops) and an 8 megabyte (1 million word) main memory.


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