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Cray, Seymour R

computer million design calculations

(1925–96) US computer engineer: leading designer of supercomputers.

After leaving school in 1943, Cray joined the US Army and fought in Europe and the Philippines before studying electrical engineering at Minnesota, followed by postgraduate mathematics. Cray worked on UNIVAC I, the first commercially available electronic computer, and went on to design large-scale computers for Control Data Corporation, which he had helped to found. In 1972 he left them to found Cray Research Inc., and to design the Cray-1 (1976), price $8 million, the world’s fastest computer, which could perform 240 million calculations per second. Later models were even faster; the Cray-2 (1985), supercooled by liquid nitrogen, achieved 1200 million calculations per second. Such supercomputers are invaluable for complex scientific and some governmental work.

His circuit designs have very short electrical connections between internal components to increase their speed. After founding the Cray Computer Corporation in Colorado Springs he continued his dominance in the supercomputer field with his work on the gallium-arsenide-based Cray 3. His passion for supercomputer design has been legendary. Brilliant and eccentric, he had built an automatic telegraph machine when he was 10 years old. Later in life, he built a new sailboat each winter, and burned it inexplicably before the next winter.

Creating Adaptive Course Texts with Aha! [next] [back] Crawford, Mary Caroline (1874–1932) - Popular History

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