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Cray-1 Supercomputer (#38) and Memorabilia at the DigiBarn
(with special thanks to Tony Cole)

Peruse the image galleries and story of our Cray-1 Supercomputer (serial number 38) which came from Livermore National Laboratories in Livermore, California. Also take a look at Cray-1 related documents and other memorabilia. Don't forget to look at the Cray Q3, Cray 3, Cray X-MP and Y-MP artifacts also at the DigiBarn.

Arrival of Cray 1A and Q2 Cray display space at the
The Story of Tony Cole

Cray-1 as featured in the film Tron (1982)

Know anything more about the Cray 1 Supercomputer? Contact Us!

From Digibarn virtual visitor David Webb (Feb 2006):

I purchased my two Cray 1-S/1000 boards (modules) at https://www.atomicmuseum.com/store/ProductItem.cfm?Category=7 for $58.00 each. The boards are framed with a caption that reads "The Cray-1 S printed circuit board is a genuine part of the second supercomputer ever built. The computer arrived at Kirtland Air Force Base in 1980 and was used by the Phillips Laboratory (then known as the Air Force Weapons Laboratory).....". It is nice to know that the modules were actually used and not just spares or defective parts.

I also found a complete copy of the hardware reference manual at https://www.bitsavers.org/pdf/cray/2240004C-1977-Cray1.pdf. Both of the links that you sent below are only the first three chapters. I was hoping that the complete manual would at least have some module identification but most of the manual deals with calculations and algorithms. I only knew how to identify my memory and logic modules from the ones in Lucite that were being sold on EBay. The image of the framed module on the National Atomic Museum's Museum Exclusives page is of a memory module.

I had the privilege of putting my hand on an operational Cray-1 around 1986 which was in a vault in the basement of General Dynamics in Fort Worth Texas. I worked on industrial laser and data printers and one of them happened to be used with the Cray-1.

Up until yesterday, I was under the impression that the circuit boards in a Cray-1 were submerged in fluorinert but I now know that modules in a Cray-1 were cooled by the massive copper heat sink in each module that passed heat to the freon refrigerated 'fins' that were between each card rack.

I also have a complete Digital "Flip-Chip" 8K core memory board that I acquired from a junk box a while back. There's probably still data stored in it!

I was very surprised and pleased to see all of the great images of the modules on your site. From what I read yesterday, it sounds like a high percentage of modules did nothing but delay the timing of the signals from one module to another.

It really makes me sick that I didn't get the opportunity to purchase that Cray-1 from the UTD auction! I would have purchased it; even if my wife divorced me for bringing it home! /;^)

If I find out anything that might interest you, I'll let you know. It would be nice if there was some document or someone who could identify what each module was; not that it really matters since they'll never be used for calculations again. I'll keep a watch out for something that could help identify them.

See Also:

Our pages on the Cray Supercomputers and other artifacts at the DigiBarn

James Curry's personal Cray collection,
the greatest Cray collection on Earth!
CrayBot! Kiel Bryant Hosier's whimsical treatment
of the Cray 1 and other Compubots

Happy Curator in Cray!

Know anything more about the Cray 1 Supercomputer? Contact Us!

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