The Cray-2 was a four-processor ECL vector supercomputer made by Cray Research starting in 1985. It was the fastest machine in the world when it was released, replacing the Cray Research X-MP designed by Steve Chen in that spot. The Cray-2 was capable of 1.9 GFLOPS peak performance and was only bumped off of the top spot by the ETA-10G in 1990.
Date : 1985
The Cray-2 was predominantly developed for the United States Departments of Defense and Energy. Uses tended to be for nuclear weapons research or oceanographic (sonar) development. However, the Cray-2 also found its way into civil agencies (such as NASA Ames Research Center), universities, and corporations worldwide. The Cray-2 would have been superseded by the Cray-3, but due to development problems only a single Cray-3 was built and it was never paid for.
Due to the use of liquid cooling, the Cray-2 was given the nickname "Bubbles", and common jokes around the computer made reference to this unique system. Gags included "No Fishing" signs, cardboard depictions of the Loch Ness Monster rising out of the heat exchanger tank, plastic fish inside the exchanger, etc. The power of the Cray-2 was 150 - 200 kW. Each vertical stack of logic modules sat above a stack of power modules which powered 5 volt bus bars, each of which delivered about 2200 amps. The Cray-2 was powered by two motor-generators, which took in 480 V three-phase.
This 20 page lavishly illustrated brochure show the complete system
Creator : Cray
This exhibit has a reference ID of CH16845. Please quote this reference ID in any communication with the Centre for Computing History.
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