A Cray 1 arrives

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Today, one of the most famous and successful supercomputers in history arrived at TNMOC.

First designed and manufactured by Cray Research in the USA in 1976, the machine which is now at TNMOC was built in the early 1980s and was originally used at the then Royal Aircraft Establishment in Farnborough, Hampshire, England. After it was decommissioned, it has been in storage and looked after by Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) which has very generously now donated it to TNMOC.

At Farnborough the supercomputer was used for a variety of purposes including modeling of wing performance and missile ballistics. Designed by Seymour Cray, the computer was specially designed to quickly process large data sets - particularly matrices used in system modeling.

The Cray 1 will feature in a new TNMOC Gallery in Block H. Because it would require a Freon cooling plant that would occupy about twice the size of the existing machine, restoration is impractical! However, the Cray 1 will sit alongside a Cray Y-MP from the early 1990s which is air cooled and has been restored to full working condition.

Getting it off the lorry was easy, but would it fit through the TNMOC door? Gap = 204cm Cray 1 = 203cm. Yes! Phew!

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