Wednesday, 9 January 2008

History

In 1976, a new supercomputer designed and developed by Seymour Cray and it´s team (Cray Research) was announced. It was the Cray-1. The first unit was installed in Los Alamos National Laboratory for $8.8 million, could perform 133 megaflops (millions of floating point operations per sec.) and had 8 Mb of memory.
In the pic, the Cray-1 at Deusches Museum:


That can seem quite old but, as you can see, it´s not bad at all for the seventies:

1984: PC 8088 - 4,77 MHz −→ 500 flops
1990: PC 80386 - 20 MHz −→ 160 Kiloflops
1997: PC Pentium II - 266 MHz −→ 66 Megaflops
2004: PC Pentium 4 - 3 GHz −→ 660 Megaflops

Well, now with the 8.8 million dollars we could buy like 9.000 Pentium 4, but that´s not the point... je je... You can read more about the Cray-1 here and here.

Another fun one is the Telefunken TR4. It was first presented even earlier than the Cray, in 1962. It had a Word length of 52 bits and a ferrite core RAM of 32768 words. Huge, isn´t it?


Last, but not less: the The IBM System 360-20.
It is supposed to be the first minicomputer to include an operating system. As you can see in the following picture, I really don´t understand what "mini" stands for in that term ;)


Well, compared to the Telefunken, it´s indeed a minicomputer.

In fact, the 20 model was the cheapest one of the 360 family. It had a magnetic core memory of 4 Kb and was developed in 1966. Another pic:

See you!

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