World's leading supercomputer company

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


About Cray Inc.

The world's leading supercomputer company, Cray Inc. pioneered high-performance computing with the introduction of the Cray-1 in 1976. The only company dedicated to meeting the specific needs of HPC users, Cray designs and manufactures supercomputers used by government, industry and academia worldwide for applications ranging from scientific research to product design, testing to manufacturing. Cray's diverse product portfolio delivers superior performance, scalability and reliability to the entire HPC market, from the high-end capability user to the department workgroup.

(Cray, Inc., Seattle, WA,) A supercomputer manufacturer founded in 1972 as Cray Research, Inc., by Seymour Cray, a leading designer of large-scale computers at Control Data. In 1976, it shipped its first computer to Los Alamos National Laboratory. The CRAY-1 was a 75 MHz, 64-bit machine with a peak speed of 160 megaflops, making it the world's fastest vector processor.

Over the years the company has introduced numerous models of entry-level to high-end supercomputers including the X-MP, Y-MP, C90, T90, J90, T3E, SV1, SV2 and MTA series. All Unix based, they are used for many different industrial, technical and commercial applications.

Cray is a registered trademark, and Cray XT5, Cray XT5h, Cray XR1 and Cray SeaStar2+ are trademarks of Cray Inc.,

HyperTransport is a licensed trademark of the HyperTransport Technology Consortium. AMD, the AMD Arrow logo, AMD


Building supercomputers was a dream, an aspiration, and a life's pursuit for Seymour Cray, and his work on the computers that bore his name was the culmination of work he had done for the U.S. Navy, for CDC [Control Data Corporation], and finally for his namesake company. When Cray left CDC in 1972, after his work on the 6600, 7600, and minimally the 8600, he took much of the supercomputer fire with him.

While Cray's departure from CDC wasn't overly dramatic, his impact on supercomputing was. Cray artfully designed computers so that each part worked to efficiently speed up the whole, and he usually didn't rely on the newest experimental components, preferring instead to tweak existing technologies for maximum performance. For instance, the Cray-1 was the first Cray machine to use integrated circuits, despite their having been on the market for about a decade. At 160 MFLOPS, the Cray-1 was the fastest machine at the time, and despite what seemed like only a niche market for expensive superfast machines, Cray Research sold more than a hundred of them.

In 1989, Seymour Cray left his company to found Cray Computer Corporation, which closed six years later.

  • In 1996, Cray Research was acquired by Silicon Graphics, Inc. (SGI). In 2000, Tera Computer Company acquired the vector processor technology from SGI and changed its name to Cray, Inc.
  • The company's latest generation high-performance computing systems are microprocessor based and use AMD's multicore Opteron platform. These supercomputers directly connect processors and memory and include Cray's XT3 and XD1, released in the fall of 2004.

Cray became famous for his supercomputers, and his passion for high-speed computing led to many innovative designs. Cray died in 1996 at the age of 71, due to injuries in an automobile accident.

The Cray XT5h

This system will enable end-users to assign coprocessors to applications, yielding faster, more efficient results. At the heart of our reconfigurable processing blade, DRC's RPU can deliver performance gains of 10 to 100 times on a number of applications, such as signal and image processing, seismic processing, bioinformatics, and econometric processing, dramatically accelerating the pace of scientific and engineering discovery.

Tightly integrated into the Cray XT5 h system, the module plugs directly into an open processor socket in a multi-way AMD Opteron™ system to provide direct access to adjacent double data-rate (DDR) memory and Opteron processors at HyperTransport™ speed and latency. A 6.4 GB/second direct connection between the Opteron processor and the Cray SeaStar2interconnect network further reduces latency toprovide the highest performance available for compute-intensive applications.


This computer is so big and powerful that when it is placed centrally in the room it needs seating built into it.

In the late 1970s, the Cray 1 became synonymous with high-speed computing.

The Cray T90

Cray developed the Cray-3, an incredibly fast gallium arsenide-based computer that ran at a 1 GHz clock rate. With the Cray-4 sitting in the wings, the company was unable to attract customers for the new products and closed its doors in 1995.

Seymour Cray's big super computer was crazy. It's signals between components had to be timed by trimming long cables up to 1/16th of an inch at a time by hand .

Cray currently offers two of the most powerful supercomputing systems in the world, with sustained performances of more than 100 teraflops, or 100 trillion calculations a second. The two machines are ranked just below IBM's Blue Gene/L system at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.