Cray Inc. is a company that was founded in 1972 under the name of Seymour Cray Cray Research.

The company provides supercomputer ago, their computing power today in the petaflops range is (1 petaflops = 1015 floating point operations per second).


The first Cray supercomputer delivered in 1976 with the Cray -1, a machine with a capacity of around 133 MFLOPS. The Cray - 1 had a word size of 64 bits and a memory expansion of a million words, which corresponds to a memory size of 8 megabytes. The cycle time was 12.5 nanoseconds, corresponding to a for that time enormously high clock frequency of 80 MHz.

Until the mid-80s Cray vector computer provided exclusively ago. The computing power of these computers lies neither in its clock frequency even in the interconnection of multiple CPUs. Instead, the CPU has several vector register that, in the case of Cray record 64 values ​​at a time. With several vector registers may be performed concurrently within one clock cycle, instructions on 64 values.

Seymour Cray imprisoned for a long time against the introduction of multi -processor capability; in his opinion a single, but very fast CPU was superior to several slower CPUs. Limited multiprocessor capabilities were first introduced with the successor of the Cray -1, Cray X -MP, which supported up to four CPUs.

The first massively parallel computer Cray, Cray T3D which was delivered in 1993. The T3D was based on the Alpha processor from DEC and supported up to 2048 processors. The CPUs of the T3D and T3E of the successor model were connected in the topology of a 3D torus with one another.

Cray delivered from the Cray -2, the operating system Unicos from a Unix-compatible time-sharing operating system. In this way the user on the supercomputer could even work in an environment that was familiar to them from their desktop workstations.

In collaboration with Sun Microsystems, Cray developed the Cray CS6400, a system with up to 64 Super Sparc CPUs, which could be dynamically divided into multiple partitions. The CS6400 was one of the first massively parallel systems, which use a standard operating system (in this case Solaris), and was suitable therefore for the use for business applications.

The first Cray machines were produced in germanium semiconductor technology. Due to the high heat -carrying liquid cooling aluminum blocks were clamped directly to the boards. Later machines (including the Cray -2, Cray -3, Cray -4 and Cray T90) were immersion- chilled: The PCBs were swimming in a bath of Fluorinert ( perfluorocarbon ), an electrically non-conductive coolant. A famous quote is, basically, that Cray is a company for refrigerators.

Physical requirements of a supercomputer dictated other parts of the design. Thus, in the Cray -1 had the uniform length of the connection cable between the circuit boards are accurately maintained to ensure the correct timing. The solution was an enclosure in the design of a column with an outwardly curved seating: The column contained the circuit boards while the seat housed the cooling units. The Cray - 2 was also built in columnar form to ensure minimal paths between the individual components of the computer. These features made ​​Cray a cult, a Cray machine was just different.

1996 merged with Cray Research Silicon Graphics (SGI ). In March 2000, Cray Research was sold to Tera Computer Corporation, which, after the sale was completed on 4 April 2000, was renamed Cray Inc.. Since supercomputers are manufactured under the name Cray again.

In 2004, the Red Storm system (now 204.2 TFLOPS ) completed for Sandia National Laboratories. The architecture for high performance computers used therein was commercially introduced in Cray XT3 and XT5 Cray XT4 and further improved with Cray. A corresponding 'Jaguar' system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory currently occupies (as of June 2012) at a rate of around 1,941 petaflops place 6 in the TOP500 list of supercomputers.

The technology of Cray has been incorporated in a number of high-performance computers from other manufacturers. SGI Cray used technology to improve the treatment given to the Origin2000 high-speed connections for the Origin3000. With these connections up to 2048 processors are coupled to a ccNUMA system in the Origin3000. The fact that the compounds of the Origin2000 introduced in 1996 were referred to as CrayLink, was pure marketing, SGI, Cray Research had indeed just purchased only.

The technique of Cray CS6400 was further developed by Sun Microsystems and the Sun is the basis E10000.

List of computer

Cray Research

(1972-2000, 1996-2000 belonging to SGI)

  • Vector processor systems: Cray -1
  • Cray X -MP
  • Cray -2
  • Cray Y -MP
  • Cray C90
  • Cray T90
  • Cray XMS
  • Cray Y -MP EL
  • Cray EL90
  • Cray J90 MARQUISE
  • Cray S -MP
  • Cray APP
  • Cray CS6400

Cray Computer Corp..


  • Cray -3
  • Cray -4

Cray Inc.

(2000 -present; result of the merger between Tera Computer Company and Cray Research )